The ad-free, privacy-focused search engine Neeva is shutting down


Neeva, once touted as Google’s competitor, is shutting down on June 2, 2023. The company is now pivoting to AI.

Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, founders of Neeva, wrote a blog post to confirm the reason why they decided to close the search engine. Neeva was facing significant challenges in attracting new users. At the same time, the economic environment also became difficult for all the companies. It was also not easy to convince users to switch to a new search engine.

“We’ve discovered that it is one thing to build a search engine, and an entirely different thing to convince regular users of the need to switch to a better choice,” Raghunathan said in a blog post.

Neeva was founded back in 2019 by Ramaswamy and Raghunathan who previously worked at Google. Never was launched in the US in 2021 and in Europe in late 2022. It was an ad-free and subscription-only search engine. Later it also introduced a free tier. The company also tried to reinvent the expense with a new generative AI engine that was providing a single answer along with search results.

Neeva also released a generative AI search app called Gist for Android, but the release of the iOS app is still pending.

Neeva is shutting down at a time when search engine companies are working to change the search experience by introducing chatbots. Google-related Bard and Bing integrated ChatGPt into a search engine. These conversational AI chatbots can provide human-like responses to user queries.

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