Yahoo Acquires, Shuts Down Luminate, An Interactive Image Platform

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Another acquisition today from Yahoo to beef up its advertising and media business. It is buying Luminate, a startup founded by LiveOps, Netscape and Yahoo alums that has created a platform for interactive, tagged images — or, as we have called it in the past, an AdSense for images.

Terms of the deal, which was announced on Luminate’s homepage, have not been disclosed.

Luminate, founded in 2008 as Pixazza, had raised just under $29 million in funding, from investors that included August Capital, Google Ventures, Nokia and Ron Conway among others. Founders who are no longer with the company include Lloyd Tabb, now leading Looker.

It’s not clear yet how Yahoo may use the tech it is acquiring — it included crowdsourcing and image-detection technology — but one thing is more clear: Luminate is no more.

James Everingham, the company’s CEO, writes that the service stopped working this week. If you are a Luminate publisher — there are 10,000 of them, he notes — the JavaScript snippet will no longer run anything on your site.

“If your site(s) have individually earned over $10, you will be receiving a final payment for each site by September 30, 2014. If you are a Luminate Direct advertiser, you will be refunded the remainder of your balance by September 30, 2014.”

All Luminate publishers, advertisers and experts will be able to login and access account information until October 1, 2014.

This is Yahoo’s 33rd acquisition, and one in a string focused on building out its media business. Other recent purchases in the same vein have included Flurry and RayV.