Infoaxe, a startup that helps users find better search results based on their Web history, just announced that it has raised $3 million in a first round of funding.
The Sunnyvale, Calif. company’s main product is an add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer. (It’s reportedly developing one for Chrome too.) Whenever a user enters a query into a search engine, the add-on runs a parallel search of pages that user visited in the past. To illustrate the need for a product like this, cofounder Jonathan Siddharth pointed to a study showing that 40 percent of the searches on Yahoo are actually revisits, where users were trying to find a site they’d visited in the past.
For example, if you find the LinkedIn profile of someone you’d like to get in touch with, you might try to bookmark the page or email a link to yourself — especially if they’ve got a common name and a regular Web search brings up too many different people. With Infoaxe, that LinkedIn profile would pop up once you searched for that name again. Or if there’s a restaurant you like, but it shares its name with restaurants in other cities, you might have to type in the name and the city every time. With Infoaxe, once you’ve visited the restaurant’s website or listing on another site, it will show up at the top of later searches.
Beyond the add-on, Infoaxe offers other services such as the ability to see sites your friends have visited, as well as a real-time search engine. Between 1.5 million and 2 million people have downloaded the add-on, and the site has more than 4 million registered users, Siddharth said.
The funding comes entirely from Stephen Oskoui, founder and chief executive of Internet advertising company Smiley Media. According to Siddharth, Oskoui persuaded the investors who put up Infoaxe’s $900,000 seed round — Labrador Ventures, Band of Angels, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Amidzad Partners — to sit out this round, although they may invest again in the future. (Amidzad is an investor in VentureBeat.)
Infoaxe is almost profitable already through search advertising, Siddharth said, but it will use the new funds to expand its workforce by hiring engineers and product designers.