I just read on TechCrunch the official announcement of the fund raising Riya has recently completed, and I must admit that I had to check the number twice: $15M is the amount the company has brought in from new investor Bay Partners. Munjal comments on the news, which was sort of pre-announced, or at least eluded to, when the Google acquisition went kapputt.
It is great news for the Riya team, and this financing round makes the company one of the largest Web 2.0 “capitalization” – $19M raised across two rounds. The amount strikes me as very large in a context of “cheap” startup build-up costs, and it can only mean two things: Munjal, who’s been around the block already once with Andale, was able to command a high valuation (one can only assume that the rumored take-out valuation range has been a useful benchmark), and Riya has some serious development ahead of them, and infrastructure to build in order to scale up/out their back-end image server farm.
Automatic face recognition and tagging is both very complex and a big deal in the long run, especially once Riya has increased the quality of their algorithms, and enabled the integration of their results into other systems. There are also “big brother” implications that Riya will have to tackle at some point.
So now, can we get that (*&#(*&$( uploader fixed ?
PS: for my non-US readers (my bad, sorry), the Benjamin Franklin is the US $100 bill.