• A Sad Day. Goodbye, Riya

    Facial recognition service Riya will shut down on August 21, 2009, says founder Munjal Shah in an email to users this morning. We are adding it to the TechCrunch DeadPool. This was one of the original services that defined the early Web 2.0 movement. We first covered it, then known as Ojos, four years ago. The service changed its name to Riya before launching at a party, yes, in my back yard. Read More

  • Covet.com Will Be Your Stylist And Personal Shopper In One

    Shopping for fashion on the web can be an overwhelming experience. Not only can you find an unlimited amount of clothing on the e-commerce sites of retailers like Nordstroms and Saks.com, but there are also plethora of web-based sites that offer deals for fashion, including Bluefly, Zappos and ShopBop. I love snagging great deals on designer and high-end clothes but simply don’t have… Read More

  • Like.com's Creepy, But Effective, Facebook Ads

    Is a picture worth a thousand clicks? You’ve heard of contextual ads triggered by keywords on a Web page. Now, get ready for contextual ads triggered by images on the page. Visual-shopping search engine Like.com is running ads on Facebook that appear to match objects in profile photos. Notice the ad by Like.com in the lower left for aviator sunglasses in the screen shot shown here… Read More

  • Chinese Photo Site Tuyuan May Do Facial Recognition. Or It May Just Put Boxes Around People's Heads

    I can’t really say much about Tuyuan yet since it’s in Chinese and there isn’t much information (translated page here), but it certainly looks like they’re trying to tackle the facial recognition problem that has destroyed many a startup. We’ve seen Riya (now focused on ecommerce via Like.com), Ookles (never launched), and Polar Rose (in private beta for nearly… Read More

  • Image Recognition Problem Finally Solved: Let's Pay People To Tag Photos

    Most people have thousands of digital photos sitting on their hard drive. And the vast majority of those photos aren’t tagged or searchable. Want to find the 300 pictures of your youngest son amongst 10,000 others? It’s not going to happen. Unless you’ve been diligently tagging and categorizing those photos over the years, and who does that? The problem is obvious. The… Read More

  • RockYou Integrates Like.com Image Search Into Slideshows

    Last November, Munjal Shah made a fairly tough decision and did an about face on his startup, Riya. Instead of continuing to focus on Riya’s existing product – facial recognition and tagging of photos – the company took its core technology and launched an image search engine called Like.com. Unlike other image search engines, Like.com uses photos as the query, returning… Read More

  • Xcavator.net: Visual Stock Photo Search

    Xcavator.net is a stock photo search portal based on visual search technology. Xcavator.net provides natural and intuitive interactive search for stock photography providing buyers with a browsing experience based on both visual content and keywords. The key to the visual search capabilities is the portal’s color and image search engines, powered by CogniSign Intelligent Image… Read More

  • Riya's Like.com Is First True Visual Image Search

    Silicon Valley startup Riya, currently a photo search company focusing on facial recognition, is making a significant strategic and product shift this morning. Riya will continue as is, but the company is leveraging the core technology to launch a new image search engine called Like.com (see our previous coverage of Riya here). Like.com is image search. There are lots of other image search… Read More

  • Riya 2.0 On the Way; Major Strategy Shift

    Photo search and facial recognition site Riya (a TechCrunch sponsor) had a million photos uploaded in the first two days after launch and seven million photos uploaded in the first seven weeks. For details on the core service, see this post and listen this podcast interview with Riya founder and CEO Munjal Shah. Next up – Riya 2.0. It’s still a few months away from launching, but… Read More

  • Anatomy of a Launch: The Riya Play-by-Play

    Photo search and facial recognition site Riya is now about two months old (see here for our past Riya posts). Founder and CEO Munjal Shah is in the process of memorializing the highs and lows of the launch process, and this is must-read stuff for entrepreneurs looking to launch a company down the road. I may update my “Don’t Blow Your Beta” post based on some of his advice. Read More

  • TalkCrunch: Riya Update

    Photo search and facial recognition startup Riya launched on March 21 and had a million photos uploaded in the first two days. We interview Riya CEO Munjal Shah and Marketing Director Tara Hunt on TalkCrunch to understand what Riya’s plans are in the near future. Check it out over on TalkCrunch. Read More

  • Riya – 1 Million Photos in 2 Days

    Tara Hunt, Riya’s chief blogger, says on her personal blog that they’ve had a million photos uploaded just two days after launching. Wow, that’s a lot of pictures. Congratulations (again) Riya. More on what Riya is all about here. Read More

  • Riya to Launch Today

    UPDATE: Riya is not launching a public beta today, but is sending out emails with credentials to people who’ve signed up for the alpha. In a few days Riya will be opening up registration for everyone. More on their blog here. Rumors are buzzing today that the long awaited, almost acquired photo facial recognition service Riya should be moving out of private alpha and launching a public… Read More

  • Riya Nails Second Round Financing

    Facial Recognition company Riya has marked the new year with a whopping $15 million second round venture raise from existing investor Bay Partners. This is exceptional news for Riya and a great recovery after the acquisition rumor fiasco late last year. My early review of Riya is here – it is a killer product. Riya continues to take alpha tester requests at the email address… Read More

  • Riya Goes it Alone

    Riya, the celebrated facial recognition company that has allowed in a few lucky alpha testers over the last few months, was the subject of significant acquisition rumors a few weeks ago. “Sources” put the price in the $30 million range, although the company was understandably silent, even during their launch party a few days later. Tonight, Founder and CEO Munjal Shah finally… Read More

  • Riya's Launch Party @ TechCrunch

    We reached a new milestone in our ongoing experiment to see how many people can fit inside my house before the police come and arrest me: over 250 last night (previous record was 200ish) at the Riya Launch Party. The thing I liked best about this party was that Tara Hunt from Riya and Andrea Reinhardt from Just Starting Up took care of everything – Fifty something pizzas, 20 or more cases… Read More

  • The Riya-Google Rumor

    Rumors are flying this morning that Riya (a killer photo facial recognition startup) has been or is being acquired by Google in the $40 million range. See Om Malik, Niall Kennedy and Paul Kedrosky. Even though everyone is blogging about it, this is nothing more than a rumor at this point. It is a rumor, however, that has been confirmed to me by employees of companies that were also apparently… Read More

  • First Screen Shots of Riya

    Riya (formerly Ojos) will be opening its doors to 10 or so lucky alpha testers tomorrow morning. Riya leverages potent facial and text recognition technology with an intelligent interface to help people make sense of the thousands of untitled and untagged photos that are building up on their hard drives (and on the web). We previously profiled Riya (then Ojos) on August 31, 2005 I went by… Read More

  • Ojos is now Riya

    Ojos, which never owned ojos.com (they used ojos-inc.com) has found a permanent name – Riya. More on this on the Munjal Shah’s blog and Tara Hunt’s blog. Riya has a facial and text recognition technology that automatically tags photos with who’s in them. We profiled them earlier. Riya is preparing to start their private alpha and will hopefull launch within a couple… Read More

  • Ojos – Auto Name & Tag Your Photos

    Company: Ojos
    Launched: Pre-Alpha
    Status: Angels include Peter Rip and John Malley
    Location: Palo Alto Overview Ojos hasn’t launched yet, and may even change it’s name. But a bit of buzz has started about them already, stoked by a post by Rob Hof at Businessweek and followed by Ho John Lee. The company’s founders include Burak Gokturk, a Stanford Ph.D. who holds 15 patents… Read More