Riya recognizes 150,000 Benjamin Franklins

RiyalogoI 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.

  • http://southerncrossventures.com Daniel Nerezov

    Goes to show that defensible technology may still have some value.
    Lately, I’ve been confused by vcs spouting innuendo that intellectual property isn’t worth squat.
    P.S. With all due respect to Munjal’s post, I don’t know what it is, but something’s telling me that Bay Partners isn’t gonna want to spend *ALL* that money on building an actual business.
    Feels like somebody just bought pre IPO stock.

  • Rainer

    My congrats for the best blog headline of the day :). Some days ago I played with myheritage.com and Hillary C. was the first correct match after a series of four false positives. Pele, BClinton, Heidi Klum and GWBush all were miserable failures. So your headline first led me in the wrong direction :).

  • http://munjal.typepad.com Munjal Shah

    Nice headline… yes there is serious build out. I haven’t confirmed this but I believe The Riya Labs team of researchers is the largest face and text researchers at any single company or research lab (at least what is public). We are going to get our product out into alpha and continue developing our core technology.

  • http://www.tecnorantes.com/?p=259 Tecnorantes

    15 millones de dólares para Riya

    (NOTA: Para los que no conozcan el proyecto, Riya es un buscador de fotos capaz de reconocer caras y textos en las fotografías. )
    Y es que en uno de los mejores titulares blogosferiles que he visto en mucho tiempo, Jeff Clavier comenta que Riya ha …