The murmurs about new stealth search engine Cuill (pronounced “cool”), which were barely a whisper earlier this year, are gaining strength and are starting to reverberate through Silicon Valley gatherings. Expect Powerset-like hype to begin forming around Cuill in the next few months. The company just recently put up a landing page with very basic information.
The company’s main claim is that it can index web pages significantly faster and cheaper than Google can – Cuill has told potential investors that their indexing costs will be 1/10th of Google’s, based on new search architectures and relevance methods. In some ways Cuill is the polar opposite of Powerset, which has huge indexing costs because it does a deep contextual analysis on every sentence on every web page. Powerset’s indexing costs, therefore, should be much higher per web page than Google’s.
Cuill was also founded by highly respected search experts. Husband and wife team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson were joined by Russell Power. Patterson and Power are ex-Google search experts, and Google must be fuming that their inventions were not added to Google’s intellectual property library. Costello was the founder of Xift.
Cuill met with venture capitalists, but we’re hearing that Costello and Patterson eventually self-funded the company with a $5ish million injection of capital. They now have 10-15 employees and offices in Menlo Park.
Another rumor circulating is that Google already took a shot at acquiring the company with a very healthy offer, showing that they take this potential threat seriously. And the company may have enticed at least one other senior search scientist from Google to join them recently.
Cuill is supposedly set to launch some time in 2008, although they very well might be acquired well before the public gets to see what they are up to.