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Facebook’s rumored interest in purchasing facial recognition startup Face.com may become a reality thanks to some help from an unlikely source.

Russian-based search engine Yandex is said to be mulling the sale of its share in Face.com to the social giant, according to Russian newspaper Vedomosti (Google Translate). Yandex, along with investment firm Rhodium, invested $4.3 million in the startup for a 18.4 percent stake of Face.com and an arrangement to add Yandex’s CEO Arkady Volozh to its board of directors.

Yandex is interested in a combination of cash and Facebook stock for its stake in Face.com, according to Vedomosti’s report.

Earlier reports indicated that Facebook was willing to spend upwards of $100 million on the startup. Face.com is an Israeli-based company that specializes in facial recognition technology. VentureBeat speculated that the deal would make sense, considering how well it would fit into Facebook’s overall mobile strategy.

We’re reaching out to both Facebook and Yandex for further comment, and will update the post with any new information.

Via Gigaom; Image via Face.com


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