Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Swiftype Raises $1.7M for Smarter Site Search

You know how search engines are supposed to be unbiased and impenetrable to manipulation by self-serving interests? Well, that might apply to public search engines, but site search is a different ball game. When it’s all your own content, there’s no such thing as spam or SEO.

SwiftypeSwiftype, an 18-month-old startup, dynamically updates and re-ranks content based on factors like popularity, number of comments and partner relationships. Users can even drag and drop search results to change their order — the kind of thing that would seem totally unethical if it weren’t all their own content.

Swiftype focuses solely on site search, and has 70,000 customers and 130 million queries per month.

Customers pay $17 per month or more than $300 per month based on how big and complex they are. They also get access to search analytics — so, for example, customer DramaFever, which streams Korean TV and movies, decides what new content to buy, in part by ranking the most popular unsatisfied search queries.

Based in San Francisco, Swiftype has raised a small-ish amount of funding from a really large group of people. Its seed round was $1.7 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz Seed, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, Ignition, Sam Altman, SV Angel, Alexis Ohanian, Paul Buchheit, CrunchFund and many others, after completing the Y Combinator startup program last year.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work