Blekko, the shiny new search engine that we first started covering way back in 2008 when they had a hand puppet as their mascot, is preparing to launch. Next Monday, November 1, they’ll turn the lights on and let anyone in.
If you’re really raring to get in at the first possible moment, the site will technically go live at 9 pm California time on Sunday evening.
We’ve been testing it since July, along with 8,000 other people in the private beta (our beta review is here). Unlike the massive failure that was known as Cuil, the Blekko team isn’t out hyping the site as a Google-killer. Rather, Blekko is being positioned as a place for people to create and share their own search engines based on trusted websites, and to get deep insights into SEO via a very transparent ranking system.
Will you like it? During the beta period, the company says, about 11.5% of users stuck around and started using Blekko at least weekly. That’s a very high percentage of repeat usage for a new search engine. The targeted search engine feature is extremely useful, as you’ll see when the site launches. We’ll have a full launch review up on Sunday evening.
The company has raised $20 million from a variety of investors, including Marc Andreessen and Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC.
Blekko is a search company founded by Rich Skrenta and his core team from previous company Topix and Netscape’s Open Directory. Blekko was founded halfway through 2007 and has already earned itself an angel round from Baseline Ventures and two ex-Googlers.