AI search engine Neeva acquired by Snowflake
Former search engine Neeva was acquired by data cloud platform company Snowflake, hinting at future integration of AI search technology Neeva into its products.
Neeva was founded by two former Google executives with a vision to build a search engine that doesn’t display ads or sell user data.
Their path to monetization was based on the idea that consumers who value their privacy would subscribe to a search engine that offered a better user experience.
Their initial decision to create a consumer search engine was a rather spontaneous move in a troubled market where even a major competitor like Microsoft was struggling to get users out of the habit of Googling for answers.
Still, Neeva attracted investment from top Silicon Valley firms like Sequoia Capital, an early investor in companies like Google, Apple, and Snowflake.
The Neeva team focused on developing an AI-powered search engine and unveiled it in early 2023. But Microsoft’s integration of AI was quickly overshadowed.
After a few months, it seemed that AI wasn’t enough to attract more users and find a way to monetize. Therefore, on May 20, 2023, they decided to shut down the search engine and explore how to use their AI expertise in the corporate sector.
“Over the past year, we have recognized a clear and urgent need to use LLMs effectively, cost-effectively, safely and responsibly.
Many of the techniques we have developed with small models, size reduction, latency reduction and cost-effective deployment are the elements that businesses today really want and need.
We are actively evaluating how to leverage our search and LLM expertise in these environments and will provide updates on the future of our work and team over the coming weeks.”
Snowflake acquires Neeva
It didn’t take long to find this new direction as four days later, on May 24, 2023, Snowflake announced that they were acquiring Neeva.
Snowflake, an enterprise data cloud company looking to integrate Neeva’s search and conversational AI technology into its 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.
Teams’ ability to find just the right data point, data set, or data insight is critical to maximizing data value.
That’s why Snowflake is acquiring Neeva, a search company founded to make search even smarter at scale.
Neeva has created a unique and transformative search experience that leverages generative AI and other innovations to empower users to query and discover data in new ways.”
Snowflake didn’t specify the new services they will offer, but combining AI and LLM capabilities with data is a natural fit that could enable organizations to use their data in new ways.
Read Snowflake’s official announcement:
Snowflake Acquires Neeva to Accelerate Data Cloud Search with Generative AI
Featured image from Shutterstock/Poetra.RH