Danish startup CloudCutout has just received funding from SEED Capital to develop a plug-in for Photoshop that automatically removes the background from images.

Using machine learning

CloudCutOut has just received € 500 000 from SEED Capital. The startup focuses on machine learning as the core technology, a field that has been getting a lot of attention the last years, from small startups to the tech giants such as Facebook and Google.

CloudCutOut was founded by Toke Jansen and Henrik Paltoft. Tokes has a past at DTU, with a Ph.D. in machine learning. In addition, he has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University in California. Henrik is an experienced entrepreneur and has more than 20 years experience in the printing industry. CloudCutouts software is based on Toke Jansen’s research. The service is based on algorithms that can cut out pictures automatically. The technology can therefore cut a product or a person out of the background – a service that today is still being done by humans regularly.

Initially, the technology is targeted at e-commerce field, where photos of products is a large market. Thousands of pictures are daily cut out by hand of cheap labor in Bangladesh, Vietnam or China, with graphic artists sitting and using Adobe Photoshop. Today is handled by a clipping of an image anywhere from 2-30 minutes. By comparison CloudCutout’s solution expose this type of images in seconds.

“Toke is one of Denmark’s brightest minds in machine learning and neural networks, and Henrik has a deep industry knowledge.” says Helle Uth from SEED Capital

Not just for e-commerce

After a visit to the photo Conference PMA in Las Vegas in January another interesting customer segment became clear: school photos. Especially in the U.S. these are frequently cut out, with parents having an option of backgrounds.

“We were frankly a little surprised by the great interest from school photo industry in the US, but it is only positive when 100 million school photo images to be cut out every year. We already have a dialogue with a handful of school photographers, each of which makes over one million school photos. In addition, we are also negotiating with several international brandowners and publishers that will test the solution.” says Henrik

Besides their own service, CloudCutOut will soon launch a first Adobe Photoshop plug-in that allows users to remove a plain background with just a single click.