Shopping search engine TheFind is furiously crawling the Internet so you can find those vintage Nike shoes you’ve been eyeing, or a pantsuit appropriate for a wedding.
The company revealed impressive traction today.
TheFind crossed the “1 billion shopping searches” mark, and shoppers have browsed over 100 billion products. The company’s database includes 500,000 stores and 500 million products, and it updates 100 million listings a day to reflect new items, price changes, and current discounts.
The sheer magnitude of products for sale online is overwhelming. A current e-commerce trend relies on social data to recommend products, along the lines of Fab, Polyvore, Wanelo, and Zazzle. This approach is useful for discovery, but more challenging when you have a specific item in mind. People still rely on Google searches or visits to individual store websites.
TheFind’s search engine focuses on shopping, and applies machine learning and semantic search to personalize the experience.
Natural language processing technology helps to identify and cluster products so you only receive relevant results. By combining metadata about each product with your own preferences and social graph, TheFind could ultimately show you things you want, without even knowing you wanted them, and it can put small retailers in front of consumers who may not have found them otherwise.
All product searches, stores, and purchasing history are stored so you can create a “shopping inbox.” Everything you buy is organized into one place where you can track packages and find receipts. TheFind delivers alerts on sales, and it has your payment information so checkout is easy.
Total retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. are expected to reach $262.3 billion in 2013, and the numbers are continuing to rise. There has been innovation in this space, but information overload and frustrating checkout processes remain barriers. These are both challenges TheFind aims to overcome.
The company also shared some interesting information about what people are shopping for. In the last month, a Chanel tee-shirt was the top search in apparel, while the fifth most popular search in Kids and Family was “Batman bedding sets.”
Perhaps more interestingly (or oddly), “wedding pantsuits for women” was the 10th most popular search. I hadn’t realized this was such a pervasive style need.
TheFind also unveiled an iPad app earlier this year, and more than 30 percent of TheFind’s traffic is now mobile.
The company is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has raised a total of $26 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, and Cambrian Ventures. It was founded in 2005.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.