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riya-logoRiya, the visual search engine whose team later built shopping site, is shutting down later this month.

The closure only finalizes a shift that started happening years ago — although the San Mateo, Calif. company is still called Riya, it has been focusing on for a while now. It doesn’t look like too many users will miss the site either, according to data from Compete. In an email sent to users (and published on TechCrunch), chief executive Munjal Shah writes:

After three years of keeping up and running, we have finally decided to shut it down as of Aug. 21, 2009. Though we transitioned to years ago, we left Riya running until there was an alternative all of you could use. Today there is. You can use Picasa or iPhoto 9 and get similar face recognition capabilities for your personal photos.

Meanwhile, Shah says, which uses visual search technology to help shoppers find the purchases they’re looking for, is now seeing more than $100 million a year in sales of clothing, shoes, handbags, and other “aesthetic soft goods.” The company has raised $49.5 million in venture funding.


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