Competition regulator European antitrust charges against Google in the belief that the company’s research activity had become so powerful that it was virtually impossible to compete. But do not tell that Bobby Lo.
What is the founder of Vurb, a start-up in the bustling downtown San Francisco, which features a new type of search engine designed for mobile phones. The idea is to take many common queries – restaurants, movies – and combine them into bits of information and actions related applications.
It is one of a growing number of entrepreneurs are betting that the boom in mobile phones has created an opportunity to do something that seemed unthinkable: to challenge Google in the search.
After a decade in which entrepreneurs and investors clearly have the turf at Google, venture capitalists plowed hundreds of millions of dollars to dozens of new research companies because they say they believe that the giant of the Internet you can dominate the search on mobile devices as it has in personal computers.
“There was a great solution for mobile search,” said Lo.
Venture capitalists funded research 27 companies in 2014 and 33 the year before – the two most active years of history, according to CB Insights, the data on the venture capital industry was in 1999. The largest increase was in mobile search business, according to a report by CB Insights published in March, especially companies that use “deep links” to connect mobile applications how the sites are connected to the Web.
Search remains a tiny startup category, especially in comparison with red hot services like foot-hail or grocery delivery.
“But as the wave of investment at an early stage in the mature mobile search, the area can see the increase in total funding, and the entry of new companies more,” CB Insights said in its report.
Each of these research companies has a slightly different view.
Quixey, which raised $ 135 million in venture capital, according to CB Insights, has a traditional appearance search box that helps people find applications and insider features, such as a button to request a taxi.
A company called URX trying to link the applications that people can perform actions on them jump. Other ideas include placing research in mobile messaging systems or creating new applications to the Home screen using past behavior to predict what the user might want next – a concept Google has already invested in.
“If you ask 100 people if the search is broken or not, 99 say Google is perfect, that’s all it takes,” said John Lilly, partner at Greylock Partners, which backed a search using the name of Jack Mobile “But if you ask them.” How will you understand what to watch on TV tonight or where to go for dinner? “They say that Google does not know, it does research.”
So, while people do not think research is broken, can be improved, Lilly said.
Not surprisingly, many of these companies have links with Google. URX was founded by a former Google employee and is backed by Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of the company. Bento, an application on the main screen which recommends applications based on preferences of a user’s past services, was founded by a former executive of YouTube, who also worked on Google Ventures.
Others share more tangential relationships that highlight how Google with its investments in self-driving vehicles and biotechnology, has deviated from its original business. In the bedroom on the second floor of a Kansas City, Kansas, home service cable Internet Google, Google Fiber, an entrepreneur named Mike Farmer Leap.it develops a visual search engine with results full of photos and videos with monitoring guidelines.
“The moment you think the game is more is when there is a room to introduce something completely new,” said the farmer.
Behind the new companies is the belief that people use mobile phones differently than themselves and laptops that the search company is ripe for review.
“Whenever there is a platform of change, all that is at stake,” said Keith Rabois, partner at Khosla Ventures, which supported a company called Relcy mobile search. “No businessman would start and no funds, a new web search product.”
The most obvious difference with the mobile is that people have their phones with them all the time, giving companies a lot of research context clues – such as location – so you might want. This is the main idea behind Vurb.
When someone uses Vurb to search for a film, returns a page with comments, the cast and theaters nearby, and links to buy tickets, and the ability to call a taxi. When a user searches for an old movie, the service receives as Netflix streaming applications.
“If I am looking for a movie, chances are you want to do one or two things about it,” said Lo.
Mobile also has several unique challenges to entrenched players like Google. With its constellation of applications and operating systems of the competition, the mobile is a highly fragmented universe, so it is more difficult for a company to index all the most relevant information on how Google indexed the web.
Furthermore, the answer to many of the most common – and lucrative – consultations perfectly the structure within popular applications like Yelp, the local directory service, so it is easier to create research-driven products that they are unlikely to sink Google, but could give “a thousand small leaks,” said Jeremy Kressmann, eMarketer analyst who covers research activities.
This year, smartphone users in the US should spend 81 percent of their time in the mobile Internet within the applications, and 19 percent on the Web, according to eMarketer.
It also benefited from Google, which owns the largest mobile OS in the world, Android, and many of the most popular applications, such as YouTube. Wednesday at an event for advertisers in New York, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said the online video service has reached more than 18-49 on mobile phones than any cable network television did.
Of course, Google does not intend to give up control of the research. The company has accumulated 30 billion “deep links” so that your search engine can return information from applications and the Web, and was a serial acquirer of new companies with promising new technologies. And engineers of the company are busy reimagining its research activities for mobile phones.
“Whenever you have a platform for change, to understand what kind of interfaces are correct,” said Aparna Chennapragada, product management director at Google Search companies.
Big paris of society were a voice search tool with Google Now, an application that tries to predict what users are looking for, showing a stack of cards with information in a timely manner using indicators such as events coming in email messages to the user or recent activities in mobile applications and the Web.
Like their competitors start, Chennapragada still do not know exactly what people want.
“Google is now an effort early on,” he said. “We always try to know.”