Yahoo Acquires Startup LookFlow To Work On Flickr And ‘Deep Learning’

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LookFlow, a startup that describes itself as “an entirely new way to explore images you love,” just announced that it has been acquired by Yahoo and will be joining the Flickr team.

The company writes on its homepage, “Fret not, LookFlow fans. Keep an eye out for our product in future versions of Flickr — with many more wonderful photos and all that Flickr awesomeness!” It also says it will be helping Yahoo to form a new “deep learning group.”

When I emailed Yahoo for confirmation, a company spokesperson told me, “We have acquired LookFlow, an enhanced image recognition company,” and they pointed me to the aforementioned LookFlow homepage.

I wasn’t able to find much information about LookFlow online, but according to the LinkedIn profiles of its co-founders Bobby Jaros and Simon Osindero, the company was founded back in 2009. Osindero wrote, “Our approach integrates recent developments from artificial intelligence, information visualization, and interface design.”

The acquisition message also thanks “friends of LookFlow” including Michael Dearing, John Lilly, Reid Hoffman, Alex Rampell, Josh McFarland, Max Ventilla, and Jeff Hammerbacher — I’m guessing at least a few of them invested in the company. (Hammerbacher is listed as an investor on LookFlow’s AngelList profile.)

Yahoo has been famously acquisitive since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO last year. The company reported that it spent $163 million in cash on acquisitions in the last quarter. And back in August, it announced that it was acquiring image recognition startup IQ Engine, also for Flickr.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.