Search startup Leap2 is announcing that it has raised $1.6 million in new funding. It’s also releasing new versions of its iOS and Android apps.
Building a better search experience than the existing players is a pretty tall order. In Leap2′s case, it sounds like the focus really is on the experience, incorporating more images and social updates into a unified search result.
Mixing different media into one list of links may not sound particularly new, but founder and CEO Mike Farmer told me via email that Leap2′s goal is to give you “the whole answer,” so there’s one result with all the content you’re looking for, and you don’t have to visit a number of different sites to piece things together.
For example, Farmer said that if you wanted to search for a list of brunch spots on Sunday morning, Google will give you “a hodgepodge list of results,” so you’ll end up “clicking back and forth” between restaurant websites, Twitter, Yelp, and Google Images. He added:
Now let’s imagine you run the same search through Leap2. Rather than a returning a simple list of links, Leap2 pulls in content from all over the web, providing you with visually engaging, organic results relevant to your query. Using the same set of keywords, your results are now a combination of websites, social conversations and images. Instead of clicking back and forth through a list, you now have one-stop access to scroll through much more dynamic results.
The new round was led by Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from OpenAir Equity, Linseed Capital, and Wichita Technology Corporation. Leap2 had previously raised $480,000 in seed funding, which was rolled into the current round.
As for the new apps, they tweak the existing experience in a number of ways, most notably by adding a new Leap2 Live homescreen, which displays trending topics and articles. I played with the app a little this morning, and while I’m still getting used to the functionality, I’m definitely impressed with the design, particularly the way it packs a lot of information into the small screen.
Leap2 plans to launch web version soon too.