Citiservi's semantic local search rolls out into UK and Italy

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Citiservi, a small startup out of Spain, is working on a smart local search platform. They’re up against a number of recognized competitors – 11870 or even the local yellow pages, Páginas Amarillas – but their approach is a simpler UI and a different search platform. They’ve just launched Citiservi Italy and Citiservi UK.

Unlike a number of local search packages that rely on a navigational directory, Citiservi does search and search alone. The search engine is based on Sphinx, a free open-source SQL full-text search engine. For those who aren’t familiar with the technology, a number of big names run on it—take Craigslist for instance.

Citiservi boasts a semantic search engine that works with an internally developed stemmer for Spanish and with the original Sphinx stemmer for English. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you do a normal search, you’ll get only so many relevant results that exactly match your “plumber in Manchester” search. 

Citiservi on the other hand will take into account “plumbers in Manchester” or “plumbing…”.  In English that may seem simple, but for those of you who speak Spanish or Italian, it can get quite a bit more complex. So Citiservi will bring back a much more complete list of relevant results.

Being a local search engine, Citiservi takes into account how you word your searches and whether you are trying to limit your search to a particular town, region, postal code or even street. Essentially, they’re working on serving up the right results taking into account natural language search to decipher user intent. No doubt, this is something that will take time to polish.

Citiservi’s monetization model will be based on lead generation for businesses and service providers, wherein users are prompted to request proposals. Through their infrastructure, Citiservi manages the entire proposal request and communication process between qualified registered businesses and their potential clients. Though unlike the German MyHammer or the recently covered Mybuilder, Citiservi charges per lead, rather than on % of fees paid to the hired service provider.

Citiservi is running on 550.000 € funding, amassed through private and personal funding. Recently the company was one of the few to receive 350.000 € in funding from the NEOTEC Initicative of the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI), public funds that are allocated through a highly competitive selection process for new IT initiatives.

Citiservi USA and Citiservi Mexico have been in beta just over a month. In the long run, their aim is to shine with their technology, with a simple and intuitive user interface and relevant, intended results in order to stand out amongst the local search pack on a European level.  This will not be easy, particularly in markets other than Spain, where there is plenty of local competition.

  • http://www.gabiramos.com Gabriel Ramos

    Hi,

    Great to see a startup from Spain here !!
    Only one detail, the address for Mexico is http://www.citiservi.com.mx.

    Regards
    Gabi Ramos

  • http://www.youpage.com/ YouPage @youpage

    Good luck guys..

  • Oscar

    Simple, clear and efective…. It seems a good start…
    We will see…
    O.

  • http://www.brownbook.net dave ingram

    Just a footnote, http://www.Brownbook.net has been doing semantic search for ages, also using Sphinx, and also using advanced stemming algorithms.

  • http://www.citiservi.co.uk jesus citiservi

    If you speak spanish try that type of searches using citiservi.es, please.

    Our Spanish Stemmer & Algorithm is more optimized than in any other language. Also we have a huge database of businesses for Spain.

  • http://www.citiservi.co.uk jesus citiservi

    Sorry, but it seems that the system doesn’t show my reply to Dave:

    Hi Dave,

    there are some differences between brownbook & citiservi search algorithm. We both use sphinx but we implemented our own tips (geo, fields weigth…).

    Take this search query for instance:

    http://www.citiservi.co.uk/search?mode=1&q=london+restaurants+bond+street

    http://www.brownbook.net/businesses/?tag=london+restaurants+bond+street&x=0&y=0

    Brownbook give 0 results for that search term but if you take, for example, “okawari restaurant”, showed in citiservi SERP, and try to find it using brownbook:

    http://www.brownbook.net/businesses/?tag=okawari&x=44&y=8

    You get it, but only when find by name, not street or other tags.

    We’re working actively in british stemmer, algorithm and growth in number of businesses but we opened citiservi.co.uk just one week ago and need some more time…

    Best regards,
    Jesus

  • http://www.citiservi.co.uk jesus citiservi

    I don’t know why but my previous reply to dave doesn’t show in the blog. Here is it whithout links:

    Hi Dave,

    there are some differences between brownbook & citiservi search algorithm. We both use sphinx but we implemented our own tips (geo, fields weigth…).

    Take this search query for instance:

    “london restaurants bond street”

    Brownbook give 0 results for that search term but if you take, for example, “okawari” , showed in citiservi SERP as a restaurant in that street, and try to find it using brownbook, you get it, but only when find by name, not street or other tags.

    We’re working actively in british stemmer, algorithm and growth in number of businesses but we opened citiservi.co.uk just one week ago and need some more time…

    Best regards,
    Jesus

  • http://www.ansaria.com/index.php/archivo/clasificados/citiservi-informacion-y-publicidad-local.html Ansaria » citiservi: información y publicidad local

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    […] TechCrunch Europe: Citiservi’s semantic local search rolls out into UK and Italy […]

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/10/18/citiservi_one_stop_shop_for_local_products_and_services_closes_a_e15_m_round/ Citiservi, one-stop shop for local products and services, closes €1.5m round

    […] covered Citiservi just over a year ago describing it as a “semantic local search” offering. Since then the company and product […]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mudanzas-Nacinales-E-Internacionales/100000678866771 Mudanzas Nacinales E Internaci

    It’s a great site, citiservi, contains a multitude of companies
    http://www.jesmatrans.es/mudanzas-internacionales

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