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9 November 2017

Giaran blends into Shiseido Americas

Northeastern University cosmetics-focused artificial intelligence spinout Giaran has been acquired by Shiseido Americas for an undisclosed sum.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Giaran, a US-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology developer spun out of Northeastern University, was acquired by Shiseido Americas, a subsidiary of cosmetics company Shiseido, on Tuesday.

Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Founded in 2016, Giaran has created technology that allows users to virtually try on cosmetics products, remove make-up and receive personalised recommendations.

The technology uses a combination of AI, computer vision, big data and augmented reality. It was initially developed with the security and defence sectors in mind, where researchers were hoping the ability to remove make-up would improve the identification of criminals.

Giaran is based on research led by Raymond Fu, who developed the platform at the Synergetic Media Learning Laboratory. Fu holds joint appointments in the College of Engineering and the College of Computer and Information Science.

Following the acquisition, Giaran will remain in Boston, Massachusetts, and will be integrated into Shiseido’s Makeup Center of Excenellence. It will work closely with the Global Digital Center of Excellence and Shiseido’s global technology team, based in Tokyo.

Giaran will also work with and supplement MatchCo, a beauty personalisation company that Shiseido Americas acquired earlier this year, as well as Shiseido’s research and development facility Americas Innovation Center.

The aim is for Giaran’s technology to be leveraged across Shiseido’s product portfolio.

Raymond Fu, founder and president of Giaran, said: “This is an extremely exciting move for Giaran at a pivotal moment in beauty.

“Shiseido shares our belief that in today’s fast-changing market, continuous evolution of product and consumer-centric innovation are key to deepening relationships with consumers and finding new fans.

“Incubated from an excellent research laboratory at Northeastern University, Giaran has great respect and admiration for Shiseido’s long-held commitment to science and innovation.

“We are very pleased to be joining such a passionate, talented and creative group of people to shape Shiseido's technological revolution and the future of beauty.”

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