Searchme: Visual Search Engine Spices Things up With Cover Flow


Sequoia Capital has a track record that few could call shabby, especially when it comes to search engines and web services. Among their portfolio companies are Google, Yahoo, YouTube and plenty more. Today, the giant VC has announced its latest investment; a search engine start up that mixes several exciting technologies to create a unique visual search experience. In a nutshell, Searchme applies Apple’s Cover Flow interface to web searches. The user inputs search terms yielding a three-dimensional stack of side-scrolling results that are graphical representations of each web page hit. If nothing else, the concept certainly provides a more stimulating way to navigate search results. The company is backed by $25 million of funding from Sequoia and others, and is currently deep into the development phase. Searchme has imaged billions of pages so far and indexed about one billion, but it still has a long way to go. Co-founder and CEO Randy Adams states his case: “We are no Google, of course, but we are trying something different to provide a new experience for searchusers. Most of all, we are trying to innovate in search, which is still largely a text and list experience.” The GUI may be innovative but Searchme is sticking to the ad-based revenue model enjoyed by all search engines. As much as we’d like to think the service has some promise, web searching isn’t exactly the easiest game to enter. The big boys are massive, well-established and hold deep portfolios of web services. Look for an acquisition if Searchme is to ever really have a chance of becoming relevant.


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