Peter Kafka

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Video Search Engine VideoSurf Raises $16 Million

Video search engine VideoSurf has found a big slug of new money: The five-year-old company has raised a $16 million round led by Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital.

VideoSurf, which has raised a total of $28 million, is one of several search engines/guides dedicated to helping users sort through the explosion of Web video. VideoSurf’s specific pitch is that its software can identify images within the video it scans, instead of relying on metadata.

It has plenty of competition, from Blinkx–which just acquired Burst Media for $30 million–to AOL’s Truveo to Clicker, which CBS just acquired for something less than $100 million (educated guess: $80 million).

And, of course, there’s Google’s YouTube, which racks up enough queries to make it the world’s second-largest search engine.

VideoSurf says it attracts 20 million unique visitors a month, with 12 million of those coming directly to its site. That’s up quite sharply from the 1.5 million it claimed in 2009.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus