Startup Monday: App Search Engine Quixey Raises 3.8 Million

There really is an app for everything, and like the early days of the Internet, it’s getting complex to sort through the sea of apps to find what you’re looking for. The problem that’s developing now reminds me a lot of the experiences I had in the late 90’s searching with Yahoo. As more and more websites were created it became increasingly difficult to find a reliable site that had the information you were looking for. I can even remember conversations with people saying, “there’s so much junk on the Internet, it’s hard to find reliable information.”

Well then Google came-along and brought with it better quality search results, honestly it changed the way people used the Internet, search results had become reliable. Now we’re reaching the same point in the app world, not only is there an app for just about everything, there are now multiple apps that do the same thing, or close to it.

Here’s a great example. I wanted to get a Flashlight App for my iPhone 4 when I bought it. When I did a search on the app store there were tons of Flashlight App’s available. So I went with the first app on the list which ended-up having a pretty bad user interface and some features I really never wanted in the first place. So I went to the second app in the list, and continued down. I think it was the 4th app that just did what I wanted and had an interface that I liked.

So how do you find the app you are looking for and avoid getting a low-quality app that doesn’t deliver the features or experience you are looking for? To find something on the web you “Google it” and soon to find an app you’ll “Quixey it”

quixey

Quixey allows you to search for apps on just about every platform, and it’s not limited to smartphone apps. That’s right, apps have taken over more than your phone, they now are being used to refer to programs on your computer, for your browser and Facebook. App really just means Application and we’ve had applications around since the first computer, these are just programs.

In society we’ve begun to associate apps with smartphone applications however Quixey is using the term more generally to mean applications for any device or platform. When you do a search a list of apps shows-up on the left-hand side with a “Snippet” to the left to provide some more details on the app itself. Right now the Snippets don’t seem very useful however Quixey is in beta so I’m sure this will improve over time.

quixey_searchQuixey raised $400,000 in Series A Funding back in April but today the Palo Alto-based startup announced that it has raised another 3.8 million. This investment came from four different sources, including Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. This makes me think one thing…Google might just end-up buying Quixey if they can get it right. The other firms investing in the round were the Webb Investment Network, Venture Partners, and WI Harper Group.

Quixey is much more than just a simple search engine for apps and that’s why I think these investors really see the value. Quixey is doing something called “functional search” which looks at review sites, social media, forums, and blogs to get a much clearer idea of what an app is capable of doing. The idea behind “functional search” is certainly applicable outside of the app world and I could see a lot of value with this being applied to product-related searches in the future. With another 3.8 million I’m sure Quixey will take their functional search engine to the next level. This is definitely one startup I’m keeping an eye on!

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