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There is a rolling thunder of new Silicon Valley Internet start-ups launching on funding of around $1 million or less.
The latest is Retrevo, a Sunnyvale search engine focused on research and other advice on consumer electronics. It has raised less than $1 million from Alloy Ventures.
You may try to call this a Web 2.0 bubble, but frankly, we don’t see any end to this. There is so much money around, these start-ups will keep coming.
Like other focused search engines, Retrevo has plausible survival odds if it manages to lodge itself in your brain as the place to go for a particular need. In Retrevo’s case, it wants to be the place you think of before your buy consumer electronics (TV, printer, DVD, iPod, etc), but also after you buy — to get help with troubleshooting, for example.
Retrevo is in a closed testing mode, but you can get to a trial page here until it goes live Wednesday at DEMO.
If you have say, a problem connecting your Sony camcorder to your TV, you can do this search, and Retrevo will give you search results that include a page directly from Sony’s guide book, in a preview section (see below for screen shot of another example)
It culls relevant information from manufacturer guide books, product reviews and forums/blogs. It filters out everything else.
It is a comparison shopping site, a lot like Shopping.com, Nextag, Become.com and Pricegrabber — but it aims to serve the full life-cycle of your needs, including eventually even recycling information.
The consumer shopping search engine industry is competitive, so this will be a tough road for Retrevo. But its backer Alloy Ventures says Retrevo has a good chance, given the huge consumer electronics market of some “$130 billion” in the U.S. alone, according to the firm.
Chief executive Vipin Jain has been working at this start-up with ten employees at his offices at the Plug & Play complex in Sunnyvale, with a “little less than a million” in backing from Alloy.
He’s now about to start looking for $5 million in venture backing, he says.
He wants to make money from advertising and from lead generation revenue from the device retailers.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results