Quintura, a company offering a visual search engine, said it has raised “several millions” of dollars in a first round of venture funding from Luxembourg’s Mangrove Capital Partners.
(Update: Some reports have put the round at “around $5 million”; we haven’t confirmed.)
With Quintura, you search for a term, and Quintura offers you a “cloud” of words related to your term that helps you refine your search.
For example, if you search for iPhone (see screenshot below), you can mouse over the word “launch,” and Quintura will dynamically update its results on the right of the screen to tell you more about the iPhone’s launch details. You can download software that helps you create more detailed search scopes.
The company first emerged about a year ago, and in November raised seed capital from Mangrove, the ABRT Venture Fund and OpenView Venture Partners of Boston. At the time, it said it was the first Russian Internet company to raise funds from a Western venture firm.
While there is no sign that Quintura has gained any significant following, the funding comes at a time when visual ways of interacting with the Web are becoming more popular. The explosion of the popularity of video is one example of that. Investors are looking for ways to invest in that trend.
Quintura also offers a way to switch results to show video and images.
Quintura’s chief executive Yakov Sadchikov tells us the company will soon offer websites and blogs a version of Quintura to replace their standard “site map. ” A Quintura interactive cloud for site search and site navigation will give users a more intuitive sense of what subjects the blog or site covers. This, for one, would be useful. Sites could use it for free, and accept ads, or they would pay a fee.
Quintura also released a version for kids, Quintura Kids that limits results to kids-specific terms and safe navigation of kids-related web links.
Quintura uses results from any of the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search, or Technorati.