An ad-free search engine has launched in Europe to rival Google.

Neeva claims to give web users honest search results with no tracking, no advertisements or affiliate links.

It aims to eliminate the corporate bias which it says has plagued the traditional search experience and instead create a search engine that delivers ‘the best results as quickly as possible’. 

The California company, which has gained more than 600,000 monthly users since launching in the USA in 2021, empowers users to select their information sources such as news outlets, shopping, software engineering sites, travel and others based on personal preference and relevance, rather than what advertisers suggest.

The firm,  which raised $40 million in Series B funding last year, was founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy, ex-SVP of ads at Google, and Vivek Raghunathan, ex-VP of monetization at YouTube.

“Neeva is a user-first platform focused on private, transparent searches versus a search engine serving advertisers,” said Ramaswamy. 

“The internet should be your private corner of the web instead of a barrage of ads, SEO spam and irrelevant information. 

“We’re reinventing search by giving users control over sources; providing accurate and transparent results as well as private and customised experiences without the influence of corporate bias, tracked around the web.”

Neeva mobile

Neeva offers a freemium model and will first launch its private, ad-free free basic service in Europe, later introducing its premium subscription model with additional features such as a VPN and password manager. 

It operates its own independent search stack, returning lightning fast results with high levels of accuracy, drawing from an index of billions of web pages. In addition, Neeva enables users to connect personal applications like email, Dropbox, Slack, Figma and others making it easy to search across the most important personal documents while maintaining strict privacy controls.

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“Google has dominated the search engine market, maintaining over 90% market share. Neeva will challenge this supremacy by creating a better search and browse experience that delights users,” said Ramaswamy. 

“Users should be in control of their search and web experience rather than accepting one company deciding the information they see. The ad-supported internet, has created vastly misaligned incentives that have made Big Technology monopolies and advertisers richer while exploiting the privacy and personal data of users. It’s time for a new approach to search that puts people first.”

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