More betting on visual search: SearchMe raises another $12.6M

Like many people, I assume that Google is going to keep on taking over the search market. Not to be deterred, however, visual search company SearchMe has raised another $12.6 million on top of previous funding totalling $31 million, from some pretty interesting investors.

Venture firms participating in this round include Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Deepfork Capital and Lehman Brothers Venture Capital. Meanwhile, angels investors include Lachlan Murdoch — the elder son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch — along with Randy Adams, Thomas Banahan and Mark Kvamme.

Why do such big-name investors keep pumping money into the company when Google continues to take over search? One obvious reason is that talented and envious technologists of all stripes continue to eye Google’s enormous profitability, and imagine themselves getting even just one percent of it through a rival search engine. Even if their quest is near-impossible, the reward is proven and huge. That’s more than can be said about many segments of internet industries, like social networks or video-sharing sites.

Why SearchMe? Well, as we’ve covered, the company is run by repeat entrepreneurs who have played pivotal roles in Silicon Valley. Sequoia and these other investors love betting on a great team in a big market.

And SearchMe, in particular, is nice as far as non-Google search engines go, especially if you’re the visual type. You can scroll through a 3-D interface of search results, quickly flipping across result preview pages to find what you’re looking for by dragging the scroll tab at the bottom of the screen or using your keyboard arrow keys. Each result window comes with an excerpt that you can click on to go to the page. The interface, similar to the Cover Flow style on iTunes other Apple products, gives you more granularity into an individual search result than the list style of a Google result page.

Personally, though, I’m the impatient type. Google searches are fast, and it’s simple to scan search results for pages of interest, or try out fast new searches. Who am I to say, though. For visual searchers, another one to look at is SpaceTime, which you can read more about here.

As to the most important aspect of search, the accuracy, I haven’t found SearchMe to be noticeably better, although I haven’t used it enough to have a strong opinion.

That’s the thing. I’m stuck in my Google-y ways.