updated 01:40 pm EST, Tue November 22, 2011
VideoSurf bought out by Microsoft for millions
Software giant Microsoft has purchased VideoSurf, a company that developed a way to search for video clips online. The deal is believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars, though the exact number isn't revealed. VideoSurf did raise $28 million from former US President Al Gore, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Verizon Investment Fund, Pitango Venture Capital, Orbotech, founder Hanan Gilutz, and SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg.
The company was founded in 2006 by four people and scans video-hosting sites such as Hulu, Metacafe and Daily Motion for specific videos. It can scan faces and look for events, with 20 million viewers accessing it monthly as of April of this year.
A mobile app lets users look at TV shows, with video clips and specific scenes provided by Israel's AnyClip Ltd. The software can identify actors and process other data like scene information. It offers a similar service to IntoNow, which Yahoo bought earlier this year for $20 million.
Microsoft hasn't outlined exact intentions, but Bing is the most clear application, followed by its own video apps and services, such as Windows Media Center and the Zune Video Marketplace. Google already has edges in finding videos through its ownership of YouTube and likely spurred Microsoft to follow suit.