KeyLemon, a Valais-based start-up specialized in 3D facial recognition, has been recently acquired by Apple sensor supplier ams. The company’s headquarters, management and R&D team will continue to be based in Switzerland.

Austria-based electronic chip maker ams announced in February the acquisition of Swiss start-up KeyLemon. The technology giant intends to make KeyLemon a research and development center for its biometrics activities, with the goal of becoming a global leader in the field of 3D facial recognition. The company’s head office, management and 14 employees will continue to be based in Martigny, in the canton of Valais, where the company was founded in 2008.

Based on a facial recognition technology developed by the Idiap Institute, KeyLemon started off as a project within the "Business eXperience" program of the HES-SO Valais Wallis. The start-up soon joined the incubator of The Ark Foundation to make its technology more robust and competitive.

“The innovation support mechanisms available in Valais have clearly enabled our start-up to kick off, grow, gain credibility and be able to play in the big leagues. We are the living proof that it is possible to innovate and develop state-of-the-art technological solutions in Valais”, said Gilles Florey, CEO and co-founder of KeyLemon.

In 2013, KeyLemon raised series A funding led by Debiopharm Investment and Swisscom Ventures. As part of ams, the Swiss company will now be able to pursue its growth.

KeyLemon develops comprehensive facial recognition solutions, ranging from complex training of neural networks to the implementation of authentication applications used in mobile phones, cars and other everyday objects.