Search on mobile devices is a painful experience. Effective queries on mobile are at prehistoric levels. And the native search experience has yet to arrive.
“We are in a period, a paradigm shift, with mobile, in the way you search for information on mobile devices,” Rohit Satapathy, the founder of mobile-only search engine Relcy, told VentureBeat.
Relcy is emerging from stealth today, flush with $7.7 million in venture cash in an A round led by Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures. Relcy, based in San Francisco, previously raised $1.3 million, most of it from Khosla.
Having raised a total of $9 million, Satapathy and his 13-member startup team are promising to revolutionize the search experience by creating a mobile-centric search engine for the growing app ecosystem.
To be sure, it is a bold endeavor, but one that makes sense. That’s because, according to Satapathy, effective ways of searching for content within what he calls “siloed apps” don’t yet exist. Mobile users, he said, have to open each app individually in order to browse through their content.
It is time consuming and ineffective, he said.
Satapathy said Relcy’s app search engine indexes content inside the apps, links them together, and ranks them tailored for users by adding contextual relevance using the startup’s proprietary algorithms. While Relcy’s app search engine is still in beta, the India-born founder said query results are fast and tailored specifically for mobile devices.
In an email, Satapathy put it this way:
“All of this is supported by a linked knowledge graph comprising hundreds of millions of real-world entities, with richer data quality and better accuracy in supporting predictive computing and search. For a user this means one single search bar or entry point to seamlessly search and browse through the content inside apps (like they do on the web) — and going straight into the specific results inside apps.”
“We’re building a search engine for apps that takes you, the user, directly into the content of the apps themselves,” he said.
As for Satapathy, his beta search engine will officially unveil itself later in the fall. Although no dates have been set, Satapathy and his team has been testing the tech’s efficacy with a small army of willing human guinea pigs, with programmers fine-tuning the details. So far, he said, development is proceeding as planned.
Relcy is hiring. Its website says employees get “catered meals everyday, great perks and off-site trips, flexible work hours and competitive salary and stock options,” among other goodies. In order to sustain this kind of work environment, of course, Relcy will need to be pulling in profits — something that’s not assured but is possible.
The focus for Satapathy and company, at least in the short term, is to build the best possible search engine that makes it easy to navigate the vast app ecosystem. Solving that problem, Satapathy said, will go a long way toward what he sees as addressing the same issues on other fronts in the near future.
“Going forward, we will be facing similar problems, not only in mobile phones or tablets, but also in smart TVs, smart cars, and smart homes — as users will be interfacing with them increasingly via apps,” he said.
“We’re much more focused on the design and engineering and solving these problems for the mobile space,” he said.