Searchme — the visual search engine which has raised $31 million from investors including Sequoia Capital — is changing strategies. It plans to lay off 35 of its 45 employees, take its site offline for the time being (it now redirects to Google), and refocus its technology in the broadband TV market, according to TechCrunch.
In an e-mail to TechCrunch, CEO Randy Adams said the company wasn’t able to raise $50 million in funding it needed to expand the distribution of its search engine. The site’s traffic had dropped rather dramatically in recent months, according to Compete.com (We’ve also reached out to Adams).
When the search engine — which let users see screenshots of results rather than lists of links — launched in private beta last March, Adams said the company had no allusions that it was a Google-killer: “We are no Google (NSDQ: GOOG), of course, but we are trying something different to provide a new experience for search users,