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Neeva, the would-be Google competitor, is shutting down its search engine

An illustration of the Neeva browser running on a mobile phone.
Neeva tried to build a different kind of search engine — but couldn’t make the business work. | Image: Neeva

Neeva, which for a while looked like one of the startups with a real chance to challenge the supremacy of Google Search, announced on Saturday that it is shutting down its search engine. The company says it’s pivoting to AI — and may be acquired by Snowflake, The Information reported — but mostly seems to believe it failed.

“Building search engines is hard,” Neeva co-founders Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan wrote in a blog post announcing the shutdown. (Ramaswamy in particular is part of the reason Neeva seemed promising — as the longtime head of Google’s ad business, few people are better equipped to know how to build and monetize search than he is.) But Neeva did it, he said. It built a good, competitive search engine. It was…

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