Quixey, the Palo Alto-based startup that’s building a functional search engine for apps, today announced that it has closed a $3.8 million series A funding round. The investment was led by U.S. Venture Partners and WI Harper Group, with participation from Webb Investment Network alongside follow-on investment by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The series A round adds to the $400K Quixey raised in April from Innovation Endeavors, bringing total investment to $4.2 million.
We’ve all heard (and perhaps even mocked) the quip “there’s an app for that”. It’s actually a wonderful quality of the mobile revolution: There really is an app for just about everything you can think of, from calling a taxi to managing your schedule to scanning for skin cancer or heart murmors. But, it’s also overwhelming, and searching for the app that you want isn’t easy. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of imperfect approaches to app search.
Quixey entered the game with the intention to build a new type of search, molded specifically to the unique characteristics of searching for those ubiquitous but sometimes elusive apps. Their solution, coined “functional search”, which not only scans the major app stores, but crawls blogs, review sites, forums, and social media sites to build a truly comprehensive picture of what an app can do — through reviews, word of mouth, and demos.
Quixey’s search engine lets the user type in queries like “baseball scores”, and get a list of applications that provide just that (which they can then can filter by platform). And the best part is that the search engine suppors Windows and Mac apps, iGoogle, extensions, and more. It’s not just iOS and Android.
Though Quixey would seem to be competing with the likes of Chomp and others, the startup also has the added value proposition of being able to power search for other app stores, search engines, and websites — just like Google — to help disseminate its search engine on third party sites across the Web.
Not so surprising, then, that Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors is investing in a great app search tool. Bringing in outside info and data from blogs, review sites, and beyond, really adds an extra layer of depth to app search (especially in being platform agnostic), just as powering search across websites gives Quixey the opportunity to scale and become mixed in with the very sites it crawls. The startup will be using its new investment to continue securing partnerships with app stores and other big third party app resources, and according to the Quixey team, there are more than 25 potential partnerships in the pipeline. The more partners, the more effective the search engine becomes.
It’s an interesting new approach, this “functional search”, and from my experience thus far, works as advertised. Chime in to let us know what you think. More on Quixey here.