Former search engine Neeva was acquired by data cloud platform company Snowflake, hinting at future integration of the Neeva AI search technology into their products.
Neeva was founded by two former Google executives with a vision to create a search engine that didn’t show ads or sell user data.
Their path to monetization was based on the idea that consumers who valued their privacy would subscribe to a search engine that offered a better user experience.
Their initial choice to build a consumer search engine was a somewhat me-too move in a tough market where even a huge competitor like Microsoft had trouble prying users away from the habit of Googling for answers.
Nevertheless Neeva attracted investments by top Silicon Valley firms like Sequoia Capital, an early investor in companies such as Google, Apple and Snowflake.
The Neeva team pivoted to creating an AI enhanced search engine and unveiled it in early 2023. But it was quickly overshadowed by Microsoft’s integration of AI.
After a few months it apparently became evident that AI wasn’t enough to gain more users and a path to monetization so on May 20, 2023 they chose to close the search engine and explore how to leverage their AI expertise in the enterprise sector.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen the clear, pressing need to use LLMs effectively, inexpensively, safely, and responsibly.
Many of the techniques we have pioneered with small models, size reduction, latency reduction, and inexpensive deployment are the elements that enterprises really want, and need, today.
We are actively exploring how we can apply our search and LLM expertise in these settings, and we will provide updates on the future of our work and our team in the next few weeks.”
Snowflake Acquires Neeva
It didn’t take long to find that new direction as four days later on May 24, 2023 Snowflake announced they were acquiring Neeva.
Snowflake, an enterprise data cloud company that intends to leverage the Neeva search and conversational AI technology into their product offerings.
The acquisition announcement stated:
“Search is fundamental to how businesses interact with data, and the search experience is evolving rapidly with new conversational paradigms emerging in the way we ask questions and retrieve information, enabled by generative AI.
The ability for teams to discover precisely the right data point, data asset, or data insight is critical to maximizing the value of data.
That’s why Snowflake is acquiring Neeva, a search company founded to make search even more intelligent at scale.
Neeva created a unique and transformative search experience that leverages generative AI and other innovations to allow users to query and discover data in new ways.”
Snowflake was not specific about new services they will offer but combining AI and LLM capabilities with data is a natural fit that may enable companies to leverage their data in new ways.
Read the official announcement by Snowflake:
Featured image by Shutterstock/Poetra.RH