Quixey Lands Another $50 Million, Led by Alibaba, to Push Beyond App Discovery
Mobile app discovery engine Quixey said on Thursday that it had scored another $50 million in funding, led by an investment from Alibaba.
Though the service is primarily thought of today as a means to search for apps, CEO Tomer Kagan said the new funding will help the company develop its broader goal — to become a means to search within apps, as well.
Today’s mobile apps are extremely powerful, but one has to know exactly which app to query for their need.
“There’s an answer to just about everything that you would want … yet we don’t have a very good level of access.” Kagan said in an interview.
Quixey’s current search engine is primarily designed to help people find the right app by typing in queries like “pay my taxes” or “learn Spanish.” It offers search via its own site, but gets most of its traffic from partners, including carriers such as Sprint, and various browsers and operating systems that use its technology.
Kagan envisions a world in which Quixey’s search engine would be able to search within a wide range of installed apps to find information, rather than forcing the user to check each of the many apps he or she has installed.
“I shouldn’t even know about the 50 apps or 100 apps on my phone,” Kagan said.
Siri and Google Now are attempts at cutting through the app structure, but both efforts are limited to just the databases Google and Apple choose to query.
“They both only answer the question as it relates to their own specific ecosystem,” Kagan said.
Quixey will be taking on some big competitors, but the company has built up a pretty big war chest, raising more than $74 million in total, including $20 million raised last year. Its staff of around 80 employees is also more than double what it was a year ago, Kagan said.