Cloud data platform company Snowflake has acquired former search engine Neeva, signaling the future integration of Neeva AI search technology into its products.
Neeva was founded by two ex-Google executives with a vision to create a search engine that doesn’t serve ads or sell user data.
Their path to monetization was based on the idea that consumers who value their privacy would subscribe to a search engine that offered a better user experience.
Their initial choice to build a consumer search engine was somewhat of a step up for me as well in a tough market where even a huge competitor like Microsoft was having trouble weaning users out of the habit of Googling for answers.
However, Neeva has attracted investment from major Silicon Valley companies like Sequoia Capital, and is an early investor in companies like Google, Apple, and Snowflake.
The Neeva team focused on creating an AI-optimized search engine and unveiled it in early 2023. But it was soon overshadowed by Microsoft’s AI integration.
After a few months, it became clear that AI was not enough to gain more users and a monetization path, so on May 20, 2023 they chose to shut down the search engine and explore how to leverage their AI expertise in the enterprise sector.
“Over the past year, we have seen a clear and urgent need to use LLM effectively, inexpensively, safely and responsibly.
Many of the technologies we pioneered with small prototyping, reduced size, reduced latency, and inexpensive deployment are what organizations really want and need today.
We are actively exploring how we can apply our research and masters expertise in these settings, and will provide updates on the future of our work and our team in the next few weeks.”
Snowflake takes possession of the Neva
It didn’t take long to find this new direction, as four days later Snowflake announced on May 24, 2023 that it was acquiring Neeva.
Snowflake, an enterprise data cloud company intends to leverage Neeva’s search and conversational AI technology in its product offerings.
The acquisition announcement stated:
“Search is central to how companies interact with data, and the search experience is rapidly evolving as new conversational paradigms emerge in the way we ask questions and retrieve information, enabled by generative AI.
Teams’ ability to discover the correct data point, data origin, or data insight is critical to maximizing the value of the data.
That’s why Snowflake has acquired Neeva, a search company founded to make search smarter at scale.
Neeva has created a unique and transformative search experience that leverages generative AI and other innovations to allow users to query and discover data in new ways.”
Snowflake wasn’t specific about what new services it will offer, but combining AI and LLM capabilities with data is a natural fit that may enable companies to leverage their data in new ways.
Read Snowflake’s official announcement:
Snowflake acquires Neeva to accelerate data cloud search through generative AI
Featured image by Shutterstock / Poetra.RH