Algolia Disrupts Market with Search.io Acquisition, Ushering in a New Era of Search and Discovery

Acquisition creates world’s first and only hybrid search engine combining Keyword and Vector Search in a single API, enabling retailers to capture additional 70% long tail business at 90% less cost

Algolia, the leading API-First Search & Discovery Platform, announced the acquisition of Search.io, whose flagship product is Neuralsearch™ – a vector search engine that uses hashing technology on top of vectors to provide unprecedented price performance at scale. Algolia will combine its market leading keyword search and Search.io’s Neuralsearch into a single API.

The digital world is evolving rapidly, and so is the manner in which people search and gather information. Dramatic progress in the world of technology, shifting consumer preferences, and the need for instant gratification and value are fast disrupting the Search and Discovery market. However, a few key tenets remain the same: the desire to make search and discovery intuitive, extremely fast, and massively scalable, while remaining affordable and easy to implement.

With this acquisition, Algolia stays true to these tenets while revolutionizing search and discovery by providing the world’s first and only API-First Search and Discovery platform with a hybrid search engine, which comprises both keyword and semantic search in a single API. This new API platform is blazing fast, massively scalable, and, importantly, cost effective. No other vendor offers this today.

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“Our mission, vision and purpose is powering discovery. We’ve done this to date largely with keyword search. With the addition of the vector search engine from Search.io, we’re going to disrupt the search market significantly,” said Bernadette Nixon, chief executive officer, Algolia. “We’ll be the only product on the market that combines keyword search with vector-based semantic and image search, along with vector-based recommendations. Vendor consolidation is back in vogue, and being able to get best in class capabilities from one provider is powerful in today’s economic climate.”

The combination of two search pioneers – Algolia (with its powerful keyword search) and Search.io (with its groundbreaking vector-based semantic search) – enables Algolia to more effectively surface the most accurate and relevant results for users, whether they use specific keywords or natural human expressions. Many companies claim to offer some form of semantic search, however, these companies do not offer the capabilities of keyword search and vector-based semantic search in a single API cost-effectively, nor do they have the ability to scale. In essence, Algolia provides users with the ability to search as they think.

“Industry-wide, retailers are leaving money on the table because it’s challenging to capture revenue from long tail search queries (such as ‘stunning fall outfit for mother of the bride’), which could potentially represent up to 55% of all search queries today,” noted Nixon. “These low volume searches could collectively amount to millions of queries corresponding to millions of dollars in unfulfilled sales of less popular or searched for products. Our new Algolia hybrid search engine solves this long tail problem – truly putting search on autopilot at a price point that is 90% less than other vector-based search options.”

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Algolia’s acquisition of Search.io comes on the heels of a significant 2022 hiring stint, with the company creating more than 145 new jobs in Q2 alone and doubling its employee population over the past year.

Nixon added, “Welcoming the Search.io team, and launching our hybrid search engine represents the start of Algolia’s next chapter. Integrating vector search with our keyword search provides a groundbreaking launchpad for us to solve more of our customers’ search and discovery problems, and deliver a price advantage they won’t see elsewhere.”

With Search.io, Algolia can empower business users with a better way to manage the automation of unique and engaging end user experiences.

“We are delighted to be joining a world-class leader in search and discovery,” said Hamish Ogilvy, chief executive officer and co-founder, Search.io. “Delivering on the promise of AI search has traditionally required tremendous internal expertise and engineering resources to work effectively. Beyond delivering better search experiences, this must also be done reliably, fast and cost effectively. Algolia has led the world in delivering highly redundant, globally distributed instant search using more than 100 data centers worldwide. This global search distribution network combined with vector-based semantic search using extremely fast and efficient neural hash technology is an exciting and truly unique solution.”

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