TechCrunch Disrupt: San Francisco 2011 winner Qwiki has a hot iPad app (250,000 downloads in 11 days) and plenty of cash. But one thing they no longer have is cofounder Louis Monier. He’s left the company, he tells me, to join Proximic as Chief Scientist.
And that means Monier won’t be attending Disrupt next week in New York to help hand over the Disrupt Cup to the next winner.
Why did Monier leave? Nothing juicy, he tells me. “The research phase is over, the basic technology is in place,” he says. Monier, who founded the first popular Internet search engine, AltaVista, has a history of moving on from projects after the hard parts are finished. He also had stints at eBay rebuilding search, Google and Cuil. He even worked for a time on our CrunchPad project.
Proximic, his new home, was originally a German startup that has moved to Palo Alto. They’ve raised over $10 million in three rounds of financing. It’s an ad targeting and analytics platform for brands on the surface. But what excites Monier, he says, is all the data that needs to be cultivated. “Proximic is analyzing billions of impressions per day,” he says.