Google set to buy image search engine

Internet giant will pay $100 million-plus for visual search provider, according to reports.
Google Inc. is on the verge of acquiring, a search engine that allows consumers to search for products using images, reported the TechCrunch blog Sunday.

The Internet giant is “in the final stages of acquiring…for something north of $100 million,” the technology news blog said, citing multiple unnamed sources. chief executive Munjal Shah couldn’t be reached for comment, it said.

The website uses image search technology to allow users to “search visually by seeing images that are similar to other images,” TechCrunch said.

According to’s website, the search engine focuses on “soft goods” such as fashion apparel and accessories, allowing shoppers to use both image and text queries to look for products.

Google had in 2005 tried to acquire’s predecessor,, before walking away from a possible deal, TechCrunch reported, adding that uses core technology that was developed by Riya, which was focused on facial recognition.

The U.S.-based company has shown interest in developing visual search technology, TechCrunch said. Google provides a similar feature on its own search engine, and in December launched a visual search application for mobile phones.

In April, Google bought U.K.-based startup Plink, which develops mobile visual search applications, for an undisclosed sum.

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