Swiftype bags $1.7M from big names for better search

Faith Merino · August 15, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/315b

Site search is ridiculous. Swiftype has raised money from big firms and angels to improve it.


Updated to add comment from Alexis Ohanian.

Few things in life are as frustrating as attempting to search a website using the in-site search bar, only to pull up a page of pitiful, completely irrelevant search results. So then you have to Google your search terms plus the name of the website and whyistheInternetsohard???

Y Combinator grad Swiftype has developed a remarkably accurate, intuitive site search engine, and the company announced Thursday that it has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz Seed, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, and Ignition, along with angel investors Sam Altman, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Alexis Ohanian, Paul Buchheit, DST/StartFund, Garry Tan, Harj Taggar, Jared Kopf, William Morris Endeavor, Data Collective, Scribd founders Jared Friedman and Trip Adler, and Tikhon Bernstam.

Most companies don’t have the engineering resources to build and maintain their own internal search engine, so Swiftype is meeting a real need across a wide range of segments, from marketing and content to e-commerce. With Swiftype, websites can install a customized search bar in minutes at a fraction of the cost of other options. The search is more accurate and relevant than older hardware-enabled site search and it actually intuits users’ intent as they’re typing.

Swiftype also comes with analytics so businesses and website owners can see how users are engaging with their sites. In one example, one of Swiftype’s clients learned after installing Swiftype that their users were repeatedly searching for something that wasn’t actually on their site. After identifying the problem, the site’s content team was able to add the relevant content that users were searching for.

“One of the primary benefits we offer is improved engagement,” said co-founder Quinlan Hoxie. “The metrics that see the most significant gains for our customers are time on site, pages per visit, and return visits. Some of our customers use us specifically to reduce support call and email volume, and they have seen very promising results thus far.”

Even e-commerce sites see higher conversions after installing Swiftype. Some of Swiftype’s e-commerce customers have seen revenues climb 18% in the first week of using Swiftype.

"The reason I fell in love with Swiftype was because I remember what a struggle building search for Reddit was. This is not a trivial problem, yet they've  built something that installs as easily as copy & paste," said Reddit founder and activist Alexis Ohanian.

Over the past year, Swiftype search queries have increased 15x to more than 130 million search queries a month across 70,000 websites. Swiftype is already serving some big name companies, including Airbnb, Twilio, Best Buy, Shopify, CloudFlare, and Twitch, among others.

Hoxie says the company plans to use the new capital from this round to grow the Swiftype brand.

“Our users love the product once they try it, and given a market as broad as site search, our primary objective is to get the product in front of as many people as possible. We've also learned a lot from our users in the last year and we plan to continue rapidly improving the product itself.”

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