Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTCMKTS:ALBIY) (HKG:1688), the largest e-commerce company in China, led a group of investors including GCV Capital, Atlantic Bridge, Innovation Endeavors, Translink Capital, US Venture Partners, and WI Harper in providing a $50 million funding for Quixey, a search engine for apps.
Quixey founder describes the investors
Tomer Kagan, founder and chief executive officer of Quixey, described the group of investors as founder friendly. He said, “They’ve been more founder-friendly than almost any V.C. I’ve ever met. They really believe in the founders having a strong say on the board and a strong say in the company.”
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According to Kagan, Jeff Richards, a partner at GCV Capital, introduced Quixey to Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTCMKTS:ALBIY) (HKG:1688). He said the philosophy of his company and the Chinese internet giant are in line with each other. “All the world’s functionality, all the world’s software, should be at everyone’s disposal easily and equally,” said Kagan said.
Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group said, “Innovation is at the heart of Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTCMKTS:ALBIY) (HKG:1688)’s culture, so backing entrepreneurs who are developing forward-thinking technology is what we love to do. Quixey has a great vision for the future and a fantastic team to see it through.”
Quixey differentiating services
Quixey tried to differentiate its service from other search engines by allowing people to type a particular task when searching for something in the internet such as “check MLB playoffs scores.” The search engine will show different desktop and mobile apps available for download that provide information, such as the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) sports app.
In a blog post, Kagan noted that 95% of people around the world will have mobile access next year, and by 2016, the world’s population will use 1.5 billion smart mobile devices. According to Kagan, Quicey is in the epicenter of the new world of technology, and the new funding it received from Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTCMKTS:ALBIY) (HKG:1688) and other investors will help its global expansion.
Kagan said, “Apps have moved from novelty to a major factor in purchasing decisions for consumers and we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of what they can do.”
Alibaba funding Quixey
Quixey has $74.2 million total funding including the additional $50 million fund from Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTCMKTS:ALBIY) (HKG:1688). The company intends to use its funds to develop its Functional Search technology.
“Building user-centric products are what Quixey is about. We should be the starting point for every mobile device. We give users a more natural way to search for the things that makes their lives easier. That’s the core of our Functional Search™ technology and the core of the company,” said Guru Gowrappan, EVP, Product and Marketing at Quixey.
Meanwhile, Alibaba Group is planning for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. Analysts estimated that the valuation of the Chinese e-commerce giant is around $80 billion.