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French e-commerce company Akeneo buys Israeli AI startup Sigmento

On Thursday, French e-commerce company Akeneo announced it had acquired Sigmento, an Israeli startup that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help online vendors better describe their products.

Akeneo, which has raised $15 million to date in venture capital funding, has developed open source product information management software that increases the amount of data that it is possible to have about a product and also simplifies the product’s catalog management. Its clients include global brands such as Samsung, shop.com, Carrefour, Universal Music Group and John Deere.

Sigmento was founded in 2015 by Izzy Cohen, Yoav Maor and Yonatan Maor.

“This was a technology-based acquisition,” said Fred de Gombert, co-founder and CEO of Akeneo in a phone interview. The brand that will succeed in the future will be the one “that masters the product experience,” he said, by describing the product successfully for every kind of search and on every platform including social media, virtual marketplaces, and voice assistants.

“It was obvious we were both working on two sides of the same issue,” de Gombert said of Sigmento. “Akeneo provides brands and retailers with tools to manage their product data, and Sigmento provides the data itself. We are the cup, and they are wine.”

De Gombert confirmed that Akeneo will own 100 percent of the shares of Sigmento, but declined to reveal the cost of the acquisition.

Sigmento’s co-founder and CEO Yoav Maor will become vice president of Customer Success at Akeneo and the company plans to keep development in Tel Aviv, said de Gombert.

Akeneo will also relocate staff from its France and US locations to work in close collaboration with the existing team in Tel Aviv, he added.

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