Matching the power of web search engines like Google on your website is no easy task. But Algolia is trying to tackle this problem by providing businesses with the infrastructure, engine, and tools needed to create intuitive searches for their customers. With a fresh round of $53 million, led by Accel, the San Francisco-based startup is planning to further develop its product and expand internationally. A mix of new and existing investors joined the round, including Alven Capital, Point Nine Capital, Storm Ventures, and Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr fund.
After signing up on Algolia’s website, businesses push the data they want to search, configure the relevance of results, and implement the search user interface (UI) they want for their customers. “We also offer ready to use integrations for ecommerce platforms to make the process even easier,” wrote Algolia cofounder and CEO Nicolas Dessaigne, in an email to VentureBeat. Additionally, businesses can integrate their own analytics tools to determine what their customers are searching for on the website.
Dessaigne claims to have 3,000 paying customers — including Medium, Periscope, Product Hunt, Stripe, and Twitch — across 100 countries. This has resulted in 1 trillion API calls delivering 25 billion searches each month across 8,000 websites and mobile apps. The most popular verticals using Algolia are ecommerce, media, and software-as-a-service (SaaS), according to Dessaigne. Pricing varies, ranging from a free Community option to a Pro offering that breaks down to $899 per month, billed annually.
Other search platforms include Elasticsearch, Searchify, and Swiftype. Google had also launched its own version of custom search in 2008 with Google Site Search, but the company recently announced that it is discontinuing this service as of April 1, 2018.
Even though Algolia was born in France, the startup refuses to label itself as “French Tech” exported to Silicon Valley, which is why it has instilled a rule to only speak English — even in the Paris office. Dessaigne and his cofounder, Julien Lemoine, decided to relocate to the Bay Area after graduating from Y Combinator’s Winter 2014 batch.
Founded in 2012, Algolia has raised a total of approximately $74 million to date. It currently has 115 employees across its San Francisco, Paris, New York, and Atlanta offices, with plans to open a new office in London next.