Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures Bets on Mobile Search Start-Up, a mobile search provider, has taken $3.5 million in add-on funding from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, known for tech investments like Facebook and Spotify.

Mobile search is somewhat up for grabs, though Apple’s Siri and Google’s general dominance will make it harder for a start-up to make a dent. What does is shortcuts.

The service, which originally launched under the inscrutable name Do@, is currently available as an HTML5 mobile Web app. It shortcuts users directly to results that are localized, personalized and mobile-optimized.

So if you searched for “The Hunger Games,” for instance, you’d see a set of icons that take you directly the movie’s Wikipedia page, reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, trailers on YouTube, iTunes soundtrack downloads, and Fandango tickets. It’s also quick to find stuff like nearby ATMs, gas stations, or even Foursquare friends checked in within a four-mile radius. The idea is to save time and clicks on mobile.

The site is full of suggested content and searches, so it feels more like a mobile Web portal than a search engine in the style of Google. is based in Tel Aviv, but currently focused on the U.S. market — with native iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions in development.

The two-year-old company has more money in the bank than it has users. It now has $12.5 million from investors including Horizons and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and some tens of thousands of beta testers.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald