Israel-based start-up Twiggle, a new digital commerce search engine, has secured additional funding from the Alibaba Group Holding Limited. This will be the second tranche of its Series A financing.
Twiggle’s search system is unique in that it’s designed to make commerce more natural and intuitive. The idea is to align the search medium more to the way younger consumers pursue their searches, like doing mobile searches, voice-based searches and mastering conversational interfaces.
For example, consumers now want to say into their phones, “I’d like a red shirt that would look good with white shorts in a store not far from my house.” Twiggle can then take that conversational question and tell the Internet to look for a red shirt in a nearby location.
The funding that Twiggle received follows the announcement in April of $12.5 million raised by Naspers with participation from YJ Capital, State of Mind Ventures and Sir Ronald Cohen. Naspers is one of the largest technology investors in the world. Twiggle initially started with a seed investment of $2.2 million. The funding will be used to grow the development team in Israel and drive the company’s global expansion plans.
“We’re redefining the way users engage with e-commerce, and we take it as the utmost validation of Twiggle’s vision and potential that a global company like Alibaba would join us on this journey,” said Amir Konigsberg, chief executive officer and cofounder of Twiggle.
Partnering with Alibaba is expected to help Twiggle expand into China. The investment is believed to be in the $5 million to $10 million range, according to various reports.
Twiggle was cofounded by Konigsberg, who was previously a member of Google’s emerging markets operations, and Dr. Avi Avidor, a former engineering tech lead at Google.
The company has also had two high-profile additions. Noa Ganot, a former head of product at eBay, will become vice president of product. Dr. Udi Manber will join the board of directors. He was chief scientist at Yahoo and head of search at Google.