Slash 'n' Grab launches as a poor man's Blekko

Slash ‘n’ Grab has launched as a simple way to search some of the most popular sites on the web from a single interface.

Simply type the name of the site you want to search, followed by a slash and the term that you’re searching for. So, for example, if you want to search TechCrunch for, say iPhone 4, you would type “TechCrunch/iPhone 4”. If, however, Slash ‘n’ Grab doesn’t know of a site that you try to include in a search query, it defaults to Google.

In this regard, Slash ‘n’ Grab – we like the name by the way – can be thought of as a sort of poor man’s Blekko, the heavily funded U.S. search engine – totaling $20 million – backed by a number of well respected angel and venture investors in Silicon Valley.

But, unlike Blekko, Slash ‘n’ Grab doesn’t offer the ability to create custom slashes and therefore add to the list of sites that are directly searchable, as well as missing a lot of other functionality. That’s likely because Slash ‘n’ Grab isn’t really a search engine in itself but a mashup offering a convenient interface to the existing search functionality of the sites it supports. Fear not Blekko or Google for that matter.

It’s therefore not surprising to learn that Slash ‘n’ Grab was developed by musician and web tinkerer J.D. Allan to scratch a personal itch. “I just wanted an easy and quick way to search sites directly when shopping online”, he says. Although friends and family soon began using it too. To that end, Allan says that he has a few ideas around monetization but that for now he’s “just sticking my toe in the water, finding out how people use the site in the real world.”