Swiftype, a Y Combinator-backed startup that creates a smarter search engine for websites, has raised $7.5 million led by NEA, with angel investors participating. The startup previously raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, NEA, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Ignition, CrunchFund and angel investors. NEA partner Jon Sakoda will join Swiftype’s Board of Directors as part of the financing.
The origin of the startup came from Matt Riley and fellow co-founder Quin Hoxie, who were both working as engineers on Scribd’s in-house search. They looked at a bunch of different options including open source solutions but realized there was an opportunity to provide a search technology that allowed for more curation and control. “Search can be one of the most powerful marketing tools,” says Riley. “It’s the clearest form of intent for site owners.”
It’s the data on the backend of Swiftype’s dashboard that can make a big difference for site owners. Not only can sites customize search results for certain keywords, but you can see what people are searching for and much more. You can also see what results aren’t very helpful to users and tinker with search rankings.
The startup is also debuting its “Swiftype Platform,” which allows OEM partners to resell the service as a part of their solution to existing customers and partners. Swiftype is actually being resold to website security company CloudFlare’s customers. Through this partnership with Swiftype, CloudFlare can now offer site search as a service to its existing customers and new sites that sign up for CloudFlare.
In terms of the competition, Google, Attivio and Endeca all offer site search to companies, but some of these options can be complicated to implement and require servers and more. Swiftype search can be added in minutes via its API, which Riley says helps scale search automatically and add users much faster.
Currently, the company’s API and developer tools power more than 200 million queries per month, up more than 20x in the past year. Swiftype is used by 100,000 sites including Best Buy, Twitch, Twilio, and Asana. Prices range from $20 to $300, with custom packages for enterprise solutions. It’s impressive that Swiftype is seeing major brands likes Best Buy adopt its technology. E-commerce sites, in particular, could really benefit from some of the analytics and data insights Swiftype can provide. And mobile search could be an interesting opportunity for the startup to help create more optimized experiences for owners.
We’re told the new funding will be put toward hiring additional engineering staff and building out the startup’s infrastructure.
Watch the demo of the product below.
*Disclosure: CrunchFund was started by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.