Industry Moves: Googler Wiles Joins Visual Search Outfit Imagini As MD

imageHaving recently secured $13.5 million in second-round funds, London startup Imagini has now hooked itself a Googler, Charles Wiles, to be its new managing director.

The company’s main product is VisualDNA. Its flashy website fails to describe exactly what VisualDNA does, but the system seems to gather data from customers for clients by inviting them to complete “entertaining”, pictorial “quizzes” – essentially, it’s a way of improving ecommerce sites’ search functionality by presenting the interface more visually. Try the example, which plays like an ESP test.

Hired by Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in 2007, Wiles was the Big G’s first product manager outside the US, helping lead mobile development including tweaks to Android’s web browser and the launch of Google’s branded mobile app. He hired 20 other product managers for the EMEA region in 2007. Before that, he founded photo-sharing app FotoSwap and was a researcher at Canon. Release.

In February, Imagini won the funding from Horizons Ventures, NorthZone Ventures and Atomico, then hired Expedia’s former Europe president Dermot Halpin as a non-executive chair of its board.