Neeva, a search engine founded by a former Google ad executive, has announced its decision to shut down. The company’s unique approach of offering an ad-free and tracker-free search experience, while asking users to pay for the service, failed to attract a significant number of subscribers.
In addition to its ad-free model, Neeva also introduced AI-generated answers to enhance search results. However, despite these efforts, the founders have acknowledged the challenges of convincing users to switch from established search engines to a new and unfamiliar platform.
The founders cited various factors for the closure, including strong competition from well-established organizations with abundant resources, as well as user reluctance to change default search settings. They also mentioned a changed economic landscape since Neeva’s launch in October.
While shutting down the search engine, the company aims to capitalize on its expertise in AI, particularly in large language models (LLMs) that power chatbots like ChatGPT. Neeva plans to explore commercial opportunities to apply its AI and search capabilities, with a focus on meeting the pressing need for effective, affordable, and responsible use of LLMs.
The company, which employed approximately 50 people and had raised $77.5 million from investors, expressed its commitment to providing updates on its future work and team in the coming weeks.