Sequoia-Backed Visual Search Engine Searchme Goes Dark

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Credit: Flickr / Errka P.

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,

3 Comments

tony corraro

You can also try SpaceTime.com if you would like to experience Visual Search.

ed dunn

$30 million dollars to perform a "visual" feature?

If I'm correct:

*You can go to flashloaded.com or flashcomponents.com and get an image carousel component

* Run the flash component against a XML backend that can be generated from search engine API like Bing.com and Google.com

*Display the screenshots from a third party like thumbshots or whatever.

So this is what Sequoia put $30 million dollars into? And somebody got the nerve to tell me that VCs are investing in these Web 2.0 mashups based on "meritocracy" and fundementals and not buddy-buddy?

Whatever…

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