Neeva was founded two years ago by ex-Googlers as a paid, ad-free, and private alternative Internet search engine. But now it’s shutting down.
“We’ve discovered that it is one thing to build a search engine, and an entirely different thing to convince regular users of the need to switch to a better choice,” a new post to the Neeva blog explains. “From the unnecessary friction required to change default search settings, to the challenges in helping people understand the difference between a search engine and a browser, acquiring users has been really hard. Contrary to popular belief, convincing users to pay for a better experience was actually a less difficult problem compared to getting them to try a new search engine in the first place.”
Unfortunately, Neeva has decided that its business is not sustainable and it will therefore shut down neeva.com and its consumer search service over the next few weeks. Customers who have a paid subscription to Neeva Premium will receive refunds for the unused portions of their subscriptions.
Neeva the company will continue forward, and it has provided a few hints about what’s next.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen the clear, pressing need to use LLMs [large language models] effectively, inexpensively, safely, and responsibly,” the blog post continues. “Many of the techniques we have pioneered with small models, size reduction, latency reduction, and inexpensive deployment are the elements that enterprises really want, and need, today. We are actively exploring how we can apply our search and LLM expertise in these settings, and we will provide updates on the future of our work and our team in the next few weeks.”