Searchable.ai is an early-stage startup in the alpha phase of testing its initial product, but it has an idea compelling enough to attract investment, even during a pandemic. Today the company announced an additional $4 million in seed capital to continue building its AI-driven search solution.
Susquehanna International Group and Omicron Media co-led the round, with participation by Defy Partners, NextView Ventures and a group of unnamed angel investors. Today's investment comes on top of the $2 million in seed money the startup announced in October.
Company co-founder and CEO Brian Shin said that when he presented to his investors in early March at the last event he attended before everything shut down, they approached him about additional money, and given the economic uncertainty, he decided to take it.
"Honestly we probably would not have taken additional money if it was not for the uncertainty around the macro environment right now," he told TechCrunch.
The company is trying to solve enterprise search and, being pre-revenue, Shin recognized that having additional capital would give them more room to build the product and get it to market.
"We are trying to solve this problem where people just can't find information that they need in order to do their jobs. When you look within the workplace, this problem is just getting worse and worse with the proliferation of different formats and people storing their information in many different places, local networks, cloud repositories, email and Slack," he explained.
They have a few thousand people in the alpha program right now testing a personal desktop version of the application that helps individual users find their content wherever it happens to be. The plan is to open that up to a wider group soon.
The road map calls for a teams version, where groups of employees can search among their different individual repositories; a developer version to build the search technology into other operations; and eventually an enterprise tool. They also want to add voice search starting with an Alexa skill, with the general belief that we need to move beyond keyword searches to more natural language approaches.
"We believe that there'll be a whole new category of search, search companies and search products that are more conversational. [...] Being able to interact with your information more naturally, more and more conversationally, that's where we think the market is going," he said.
The company now has more money in the bank to help achieve that vision.