Microsoft has acquired VideoSurf — a startup company founded by four Israeli entrepreneurs — for a reported sum of $70 million, in an effort to improve its position in the online video search field.
VideoSurf is a video search engine that makes it easier for people to locate video clips on the Internet.
“VideoSurf has taught computers to ‘see’ inside videos to find content in a fast, efficient, and scalable way. Basing its search on visual identification, rather than text only, VideoSurf’s computer vision video search engine provides more relevant results and a better experience to let users find and discover the videos they really want to watch,” the company explains on its website.
The company was founded in 2006 by Lior Delgo, Professor Achi Brandt, Dr. Eitan Sharon and Shai Deljo. Investors backing the company include Orbotech and Pitango as well as former US President Al Gore, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg.
Israel’s AnyClip supplies VideoSurf with video clips and specific scenes from Hollywood movies. To date, VideoSurf has over 50 billion visual moments indexed from videos found across the web.
Microsoft will also work VideoSurf’s technology into its Xbox Live platform.
“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” Alex Garden, director of Xbox Live for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, said in a statement. “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.”