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Beating Google at Its Own Search Game.

Beating Google at Its Own Search Game.
August 5 2020

Google is acting more like an advertising agency these days. In 2019, $135B of its $162B revenue came from ads. When you use Google to search for anything from financial information to local weather, you’re given a list of search results generated by Google’s algorithm. The algorithm attempts to provide the most relevant results for your query, and, along with these results, you may find related suggested pages from Google Ads. Pulling in revenue from ads is increasingly seen as compromising the validity of Google search results. 

There have been alternatives. Now, a former Google executive is building a new search engine aiming to beat Google at its own game- A search engine with no ads at all. It's called Neeva, and it's a big bet that some subset of Google's billions of users believe search is important enough, and Google increasingly problematic enough, that they'll pay Neeva's (unannounced) monthly price for a search engine. More than that, it's a big bet that reinventing search has less to do with beating PageRank and more to do with fixing the user experience, starting by putting search results back at the top of search results.

Search is too important to relegate to the bottom of an ad-filled page. It's one of the few natural consumer aggregation points. There are not many places that a very large set of users will reliably go to. Google’s search engine now felt like a product being made worst by its business model. 

Neeva's in closed beta for now, with plans to launch more broadly early next year. 

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Alternative Search Engines:

DuckDuckGo is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term.

Keyhole allows you to search for hashtags, keywords, @mentions, and URLs. Want to see how your latest blog post was shared across social networks? Just select URL on Keyhole and put in the URL and you’ll see who has shared it.

Scribd is the largest social reading and publishing network that allows you to discover original written content across the web. Scribd is an American e-book and audiobook subscription service that includes one million titles. Scribd hosts 60 million documents on its open publishing platform. 

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,407 Updated Companies | 189 M&A Deals185 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Securities America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., announced today that it has successfully recruited Syntegra Private Wealth Group, a group of six hybrid advisors with $459 million in total client assets, to join Securities America and its Arbor Point Advisors platform.

Delightree, a company out of the previous Alchemist Accelerator class, has raised $3 million to build a tool hyper-focused on helping owners of franchise businesses (think hotels, gyms, restaurant chains, etc.) take their operations and workflows digital.

Kyber Data Science, a subsidiary of New York-based Cowen Inc., raised $10m in Series A financing. The round was led by Cowen and Ian McKinnon, founder of Sandia Holdings LLC. In conjunction with the funding, Mr. McKinnon has joined Kyber’s board of directors, effective upon closing of the investment.

Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., a San Carlos, CA, and Sioux Falls, S.D.-based -to-farm ag tech platform and farmer network, closed a $250m Series F funding.

Indigo Agriculture, a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, announces the closing of $360M in additional financing. Combined with $175M in convertible equity announced in January 2020, this brings the company’s total Series F preferred financing to $535M. The round included participation from new and existing investors, including the Alaska Permanent Fund as well as the founder and initial investor of Indigo, Flagship Pioneering.

One of promising decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, Hedget, has raised fresh capital for expanding its product lineup. Announced Monday, Hedget has completed a seed round led by FBG Capital, one of the earliest investment funds in the crypto industry, and joined by NGC Ventures.

Siemens Healthineers agreed to buy Varian Medical Systems for about $16.4 billion in cash in the biggest medical acquisition of the year.

PropTech Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company targeting businesses in the real estate technology industry, and, Inc., a leading software and services platform for the home inspection and home service industries, have entered into a definitive agreement which would result in Porch becoming a publicly listed company.

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