• If Search Engines Played Jeopardy, Which One Would Win?

    The recent victory of IBM’s Watson computer against human competitors in an exhibition round of Jeopardy got computer scientist Stephen Wolfram thinking about how regular search engines might fare in such a match-up. So he took 200,000 known Jeapardy clues and ran them through six search engines (Google, Bing, Ask, Blekko, Wikipedia Search, and Yandex). He excluded known Jeopardy… Read More

  • Blekko Finally Gets Cool As Ashton Kutcher Invests $200k

    Blekko Finally Gets Cool As Ashton Kutcher Invests $200k

    Blekko, a search engine, isn’t exactly a flashy new startup. There’s the name for starters – it was something they came up with as a placeholder while they were stealth and decided that was a good long term name, too. And then there was the whole Cuil fiasco. Which would make any new search startup blanch. So Blekko hasn’t turned on the hype machine at all. Read More

  • Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Google

    Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Google

    This semester, my students at the School of Information at UC-Berkeley researched the VC system from the perspective of company founders. We prepared a detailed survey; randomly selected 500 companies from a venture database; and set out to contact the founders. Thanks to Reid Hoffman, we were able to get premium access to LinkedIn—which provided a wealth of information.  But some of… Read More

  • Blekko Goes Social, Now Lets You Search Sites Your Friends Have 'Liked' On Facebook

    As of today search engine Blekko has made search a little bit more social, letting users log in through Facebook and using Facebook API data to let you know what sites your friends have ‘Liked’ as well as search those sites. Just connect to Blekko through Facebook, wait a few minutes for your “Likes” to load and begin searching with the /Likes slashtag. Unlike… Read More

  • Blekko Gets Into Product Search With New Holiday Shopping Vertical /Safeshop

    Blekko, the shiny new search engine that is taking on Google, is getting into product search today with the launch of a new vertical for holiday shopping. As you may have heard, the recently launched search engine differentiates itself from Google by giving users tools to do new types of searches that they can’t do elsewhere.The search engine offers unique query refinement tools to… Read More

  • *AD HERE* TripAdvisor: Plan *AD HERE* Your Vacation *AD HERE* Here *AD HERE* Please

    So, LeWeb ’10 is coming up. Let’s say you’re looking for some good ideas of where to stay and what to do in Paris while you’re there. Where are you most likely to turn on the web? Google. A search for “paris vacation” yields TripAdvisor as the top result. You click on that link. Oh. My. God. Read More

  • What Can You Do On Blekko That You Can't Do On Google? (TCTV)

    What Can You Do On Blekko That You Can't Do On Google? (TCTV)

    We recently brought Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta into our office to talk about why his company’s recent attempt to enter a market where two search engines hold 90% of the market share is not completely insane. The prevailing “Blekko is doomed” argument holds that because Google already does search so well, it’s fruitless to for anyone else to bother. Granted, it’s hard… Read More

  • Get Ready For Blekko: Public Launch On November 1

    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… Read More

  • Harvard Hawking Online Cialis? Welcome to the New Era of “Web Snatchers”

    Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Michael Markson, VP of Marketing for internet search engine Blekko, Inc. Previously, Markson was founder and VP of Business Development of news site Topix. In the 1956 classic horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the citizens of the fictional town of Santa Mira, California are replaced by perfect physical duplicates, simulations… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • Can Slense be the Blekko of Europe? Launches customizable search engine

    There has been lots of buzz around Blekko, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups. At the recent Social Currency CrunchUp CEO Rich Skrenta gave an impressive demo of their product and attendees got a first glimpse of Blekko’s powerful search engine. Slense, an Austrian startup, which has been developed by bunch of Viennese PhD students recently launched and is in some way a… Read More

  • Innovative New Search Engine Blekko Has 500 Invites For TechCrunch Readers

    Today at our Social Currency CrunchUp (which is currently being livestreamed here), Blekko founder and CEO Rich Skrenta gave the first live demo of the startup’s innovative search engine (be sure to check out our initial review). To mark the occasion, Blekko is giving out an invite to 500 lucky TechCrunch readers — just be one of the first people to email a message requesting… Read More

  • Blekko Screencast And Founder Interview

    We just posted our first thoughts on Blekko, a new search engine preparing to launch to the public. We’ve also taken a screencast of the search experience on the site and have a short video interview with cofounders Rich Skrenta and Mike Markson. Read More

  • TechCrunch Review: The Blekko Search Engine Prepares To Launch

    TechCrunch Review: The Blekko Search Engine Prepares To Launch

    It takes a crazier than average entrepreneur to go after the search market. There’s an entrenched player, Google, with 65% market share. Google is so powerful the second player, Yahoo, just bailed out of the market. And third place Microsoft is throwing billions of dollars around just to get in the game. We’ve seen Wikia, Cuil and other well backed startups try and fail at search. Read More

  • Stealth Search Engine Blekko Raises Another $2.5 Million

    Stealth search engine Blekko, which we’ve been tracking since early 2008, has closed another $2.5 million in funding, bringing the total raised to $20 million. This most recent round, says CEO Rich Skrenta, was a inside round led from existing investors USVP and CMEA Ventures. Blekko is taking their own sweet time to launch, so don’t expect much more from them until they are good… Read More

  • Stealth Search Engine Blekko Raises $11.5 Million

    One search engine dies, another takes a step forward. This is a hard space to find a niche in, but the money at stake if you succeed is staggering. Blekko, the stealth search engine we’ve been covering since early 2008, has raised a third round of financing – $11.5 million from USVP and CMEA. That brings the total amount of capital raised to $17.5 million, including a $1 million… Read More

  • Shhh. Blekko Is Still In The Oven. Do Not Disturb

    Life is not easy for search engine startups. FIrst, it’s hard to create something that doesn’t fall flat against Google. Too much hype (Google Killer!), whether the company drives it or not, inevitably leads to disappointment. Cuil is walking dead, for example, and Wikia Search is just dead. Other ambitious projects like SearchMe are dealing with tepid user enthusiasm, and… Read More

  • Stealth Search Engine Blekko Gets Money From Marc Andreessen, SoftTech

    2008 is the year of the search engine startup. Hot on the heels of Powerset’s partial launch earlier this week, stealth search engine Blekko (no logo, no website, just this and, apparently, some technology) raised a second round of financing. The company raised $3 million in equity at a $23 million post-money valuation. All previous investors participated, and new investors Marc… Read More

  • Powerset Will Launch In Coming Weeks

    San Francisco based Powerset will be publicly launching a long-awaited beta version of the service in the coming weeks, the company told me yesterday. They are working on a new kind of search engine that will understand natural language searches and compete with keyword matching engines that dominate search today. An early version of the search engine, which was demo’d to me yesterday… Read More

  • The Next Google Search Challenger: Blekko

    Rich Skrenta, who created the first computer virus (Elk Cloner), co-founded the Open Directory Project, and co-founded online news site Topix, may have bitten off the biggest challenge of his career – taking on Google. In search. Skrenta left Topix last June. He started his new company, Blekko, almost immediately, along with five others from the Topix core team. They raised $2 million… Read More