A handful of publications have indicated that Microsoft paid an estimated $100 million for the company.
VideoSurf specializes in video search technology that scans several video related sites for results, such as DailyMotion, YouTube, Metacafe, Hulu and others. The site’s results focus on specific episodes of web shows, notable individuals and more. Admittedly, I haven’t used the site much, but I have noticed that it takes great care in separating viral/user-generated videos from the production quality videos (e.g. things from College Humor, Hulu, etc.).
It’s likely that Microsoft purchased the company with the intent of strengthening video search in its Bing search engine and integrate more video into the Xbox.
Previously, VideoSurf raised $28 million from several notable investors, including former Vice President Al Gore, Current Media CEO Joel Hyatt, SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as well as funding from Pitango VC and Verizon Ventures.
Founded in 2006, the San Mateo, California-based startup has 35 employees.
Press release Microsoft:
Founded in 2006, VideoSurf offers a back-end computer vision technology that “sees” frames inside videos to make discovering content fast, easy and accurate. Over time, Microsoft will integrate this technology across its entertainment platform to augment the Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE.
“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE. Over time, as we integrate VideoSurf’s technology into our system, we are excited about the potential to have content tagged in real time to increase the speed and relevance of the search results.”
In the coming months, Microsoft will bring nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainment providers to Xbox LIVE, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K.; Telefonica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and Mediaset in Italy.
This acquisition will also make it easier for world-class video partners to take full advantage of advanced features such as voice search enabled by Kinect for Xbox 360. With Kinect, users will be able to easily search and discover content across multiple entertainment providers within Xbox LIVE and then interact with and enjoy content in extraordinary ways using voice search powered by Bing on the Xbox 360.