Profile: SearchMe.com

SearchMe, a search engine startup with a visual interface

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03.11.2008

SearchMe
is another search startup that wants to take on Google, but it’s more
inspired by part of the iTunes interface. It is a visual search engine,
of sorts, that shows you results in a series of revolving panes, with
each pane featuring a search result. In iTunes, this format is used to
feature the covers of albums, not search results.

In case you were interested in switching away from Google, SearchMe
has some other potentially useful features. It offers categories to
help you find what you’re looking for, faster. For example, if you type
in “labrador puppies,” as seen in the demo video below, you can click
on an icon for puppies to clarify that you’re not looking for
information about a province of the Canadian government. If you want a
list of SearchMe search results instead of the visual interface, you
can drag open the list from the bottom of the screen.

I haven’t had a chance to test it out myself, but Kara Swisher has a more in-depth look, here. She also notes that Google is experimenting with a similar project in its labs.

This is the latest search product from the Mountain View company — it has raised $31 million from Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures and Lehman Brothers,
to date, so it has some room to experiment. VentureBeat readers may
remember it first surfacing under the name Kavam, in early 2006 (our coverage), then launching a search engine for Wiki pages that was underwhelming compared to Google’s ability to search wiki pages (our coverage).

From my outside-the-private-beta perspective, the best thing the
company has going for it is the experience of the founding team — which
is probably the rationale behind the large amount of funding the
company has received over the years. Specifically, chief executive and
co-founder Randy Adams (LinkedIn profile here)
has already founded and sold a number of successful companies including
Emerald City Software, bought by Adobe Systems; the Internet Shopping
Network, bought by the Home Shopping Network; Navitel Communications,
bought by Spyglass, Inc.; and more. In fact, Sequoia owes him one — he
helped introduce Sequoia to Yahoo, which led to the firm’s initial
investment in the company. Then he served on Yahoo’s board of directors
during the first year of its operation. Some more details here.

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