Neeva shuts down its search engine to focus on AI products
Remember Neeva? We reviewed the search engine back in 2022. The startup promised a better search experience and based this on a number of product ideas. One of the core ones was that it would offer an ad-free search experience, another that it would give its users more customization options. Neeva wanted to earn revenue through subscriptions, hoping that users were willing to pay for an ad-free search experience that promised not to track users and not be biased in any way.
Neeva announced on Saturday that it is shutting down its search engine product to focus on AI products instead. The company admits that its search engine could not convince enough users to hand over money for an ad-free and tracking free search experience.
The startup realized that its team of 50 employees was too small to combat against "entrenched organizations with endless resources". Its hope that integration of AI into the search engine would convince more users to become paying customers, but it appears that this was not enough. Neeva realized that "there is no longer a path towards creating a sustainable business in consumer search" and the decision to shut down the search engine was born.
Neeva will refund paying customers for the subscription period that can't be used by them. The company has published a FAQ on its website that offers answers to often asked questions.
The website and search service will be shut down in the "next few weeks" according to the FAQ. Neeva search continues to work just like before up to that date.
One of Neeva's main rivals, Kagi, is still available. The service has a similar approach to search, promising an ad-free experience and more customization options than traditional search engines. One search engine that has been gaining some traction, albeit on a small scale when compared to the traffic of Google Search and Bing, is Brave Search.
One of Brave Search's distinguishing characteristics when compared to DuckDuckGo or Startpage, is that Brave Search operates its own search index; this makes it independent of Google and Bing, which provide the data to the other search engines mentioned in this paragraph.
Back in 2022 I asked whether you would pay for an ad-free search engine. Most of you who commented said that they would not pay.
Now You: did you try Neeva? What's your main search engine right now?
If only their user interface wasn’t rounded and awful like Google’s material design.
It is not about the privacy feature of these search engines. Like it or not, Google’s search results, atleast with an adblocker, is still the best IMO.
Unless Google starts adding anti adblock features to it’s search engine, i don’t see folks switching to a paying version.