According to this Joong Ang Ilbo article, Intel has acquired Olaworks, a Korean developer of an app called Scan Search and facial recognition technology. While Intel has invested in Korean companies in the past, this is the first time it has completely acquired a local IT company.
According to unidentified investment banking sources quoted in the article, the two companies have signed an agreement under which Intel will purchase the majority of Olaworks’ shares and take on its employees. The deal was reported to have been worth 35 billion won.
Olaworks was founded in 2006 by its former CEO, Junghee Ryu, of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The following year, Intel Capital participated in a 4 million dollar round of funding with local VC Skylake Incuvest, in which Intel invested 2 million dollars for a 19% stake in Olaworks.
Olaworks has achieved success with its face recognition technology and was involved in the development of popular Korean smartphone app, Pudding Face Detector. At present LG Electronics, Pantech, and HTC make use of Olawork’s face recognition technology in their phones.
According to the article, Intel also has plans to fuse Olaworks with another recent acquisition, Silicon Hive.