User experience can make or break an e-commerce site. But while web search engines like Google have made it intuitive and easy, websites and apps rarely provide that same experience. That is where Algolia comes in. The startup, which was founded in France in 2012 and has since moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley, says it aims to help companies building a search engine for their app or website deliver “highly relevant results at lightning-fast speed.” Algolia’s hosted search engine is currently delivering 25 billion searches each month across 8,000 websites and mobile apps. It has 3,000 paying customers in 100 countries, principally across the ecommerce, media and software-as-a-service (SaaS) industries. The majority of its revenue comes from larger business customers, with the rest from smaller, independent developers.
The company raised $53 million in Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Accel earlier this month. So what will it use the money for? In addition to opening new offices in the UK and Australia (it currently has offices in San Francisco, Paris, New York City and Atlanta) the company said it plans to invest in research and development. “The future of search will be conversational and more personalized,” Nicolas Dessaigne, Algolia’s CEO and co-founder, said in an interview with The Innovator. In the near future a search engine will not only have to understand a query but also a user’s intent and Algolia intends to help companies deliver on that expectation, he says.