Neeva, Upstart Search Engine, Shuts Down

Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, writing on the Neeva blog:

In early 2022, the upcoming impact of generative AI and LLMs became clear to us. We embarked on an ambitious effort to seamlessly blend LLMs into our search stack. We rallied the Neeva team around the vision to create an answer engine. We are proud of being the first search engine to provide cited, real-time AI answers to a majority of queries early this year.

But throughout this journey, we’ve discovered that it is one thing to build a search engine, and an entirely different thing to convince regular users of the need to switch to a better choice. From the unnecessary friction required to change default search settings, to the challenges in helping people understand the difference between a search engine and a browser, acquiring users has been really hard. Contrary to popular belief, convincing users to pay for a better experience was actually a less difficult problem compared to getting them to try a new search engine in the first place.

I tried Neeva, briefly, but it never stuck for me. Part of the problem, even if you’re open to trying new search engines — clearly a big if — is that there’s a bit of a renaissance at the moment in new search engines. I’d been using DuckDuckGo as my default for years, but about six months ago I switched to Kagi, and so far I haven’t looked back. I pay $10/month for Kagi. A paid search engine! Good search results and absolutely zero clutter from ads or paid placement. They’ve also got a GPT-backed search that includes up-to-date results and works very fast.

Monday, 22 May 2023