Alibaba to invest in Taiwanese AR startup Perfect Corp

Augmented reality in use for retail analysis. Photo: Trax

Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has agreed to invest in augmented-reality startup Perfect Corp. in its biggest bet so far in Taiwan, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Alibaba is leading a new round of funding for Perfect Corp., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Chinese venture capital firm CCV, led by former KPCB China Managing Partner Zhou Wei, and Taiwan’s Cyberlink Corp. are also participating in the round, the people said.

Perfect Corp. announced Thursday it’s forming a strategic partnership with Alibaba to bring its augmented reality technology to the Chinese company’s online platforms. It didn’t mention any financial terms of the tie-up.

Alibaba will use Perfect Corp.’s YouCam virtual try-on technology, which allows users to see what makeup would look like on their faces before buying, when selling products like lipstick and eyeliner on its Taobao and Tmall online shopping platforms. The partnership will help Perfect Corp. form relationships with global brands and access the beauty market in China, founder Alice Chang said in the statement.

“This is a classic win-win strategic partnership,” said Jeremy Choy, head of Asia technology mergers and acquisitions at HSBC Holdings Plc, who helped work on the tie-up. “Perfect strengthens its business and network in the important Chinese market and customers gain a better shopping experience.”

Representatives for Alibaba and CCV declined to comment while representatives for Perfect Corp. and Cyberlink didn’t immediately answer phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.