Startup Neeva is shutting down its search engine for consumers and intends to focus on artificial intelligence. This was reported by CNBC with a reference to the company.
Founded in 2019 by ex-Googlers Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, Neeva launched an ad-free, paid search engine in the US two years ago and added a free version six months later.
In the months that followed, Neeva said it had more than 600,000 users, though the vast majority were on the free plan. In search of growth, Neeva launched a rapid global expansion, starting in Europe in October, before attempting to reimagine the entire search process with a new generative AI engine that combined multiple results and sources to create a single answer.
The company’s co-founders noted in a blog post on the Neeva website that user engagement was very difficult. This challenge and the other economic environment have made it clear that the consumer search business is not sustainable.
“This was a very tough decision that took into account lots of things: our business progress so far, the current funding environment and our ability to continue to grow quickly in this vastly changed search environment,” Ramaswamy said in a tweet Saturday.
Neeva.com and its search product are expected to be shut down in the next few weeks and user data will be deleted. Owners of a paid subscription to Neeva Premium will receive a refund for the unused portion.
Neeva will now explore the use cases of generative AI and large language models in search in the future. Its managers plan to tell more about the future of the company in the coming weeks.