Google’s privacy and antitrust struggles have far from slowed down (more on that later), and it’s becoming clear that new competitors see right now as the perfect opportunity to pounce. They’re not wrong: DuckDuckGo, a privacy-centered alternative, very recently surpassed Bing to become the No. 2 mobile search engine in the U.S.
Just last week, we reported on Brave, an open-source browser that will soon be launching Brave Search, the first privacy-focused alternative to Google Search that offers a search engine and browser that both work on desktop and mobile devices. Now, there’s another new search engine ready to take on Google – and this time, it’s personal.
Neeva is the latest privacy-oriented search engine to throw its hat in the ring, and it’s doing things differently. Neeva is set to be a subscription-based search engine, costing users between $5-$10 per month, and won’t sell ads or data or track user behavior. Founded by ex-Google employees, Neeva has already gained $40 million in Series B funding, and it has set up its headquarters just around the corner from Google.
Co-founder and CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy has an incredible amount of insider knowledge, having run Google’s search ads business from 2007 and its ads business from 2013 to 2018. Co-founder Vivek Raghunathan was VP of Monetization at YouTube and worked at Google for almost 12 years. That gives the duo some serious search street cred. Three more former Google employees – Udi Manber, Margo Georgiadis and Darin Fisher – have also joined the Neeva team.
In an interview with Fast Company, Ramaswamy addressed Google’s conflict of interest between serving ads to users vs. serving the most relevant search result. Increasingly, he said, the ads played a more significant role, and he realized something needed to change. Neeva’s model hopes to solve this problem, making search safe and accessible for everyone.
Rebekah Dunne of Search Engine Journal wrote an excellent blog that explains what we know about Neeva so far. And, if you want to be an early tester once the search engine is up and running, you can sign up and join the waitlist.
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