The internet is just a sheer amount of information packed together. The main success of Google and other search engines is to point out how focused search helps in going through that information. Now, a newly launched startup called Lucidworks helps organizations to provide an individual search for their users.
Lucidworks has become quite popular in the market. This popularity has helped the company to raise around $100 million in funding. The company believes that its approach can help to produce more relevant results than other search services. The company plans to use this new funding to expand itself and become “the next big platform.”
The main source of funding is from TPG Sixth Street Partners and PE firm Francisco Partners. Some current investors in the company also include Granite Ventures, Allegis Cyber, Shasta Ventures, and Top Tier Capital Partners.
Lucidworks has raised around $200 million from funding, until today. The company hasn’t disclosed its current valuation. However, it states that they are doubling their revenues for the previous three years. They also include companies like REI, Red Hat, Reddit, and the U.S. Census in 400 other customers with the flagship product, Fusion. PitchBook mentions that its last funding round in 2018 was $135 million.
The idea of building a search business isn’t new and there are many big fishes in the pond. For example, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have built their empires on search. Google and Microsoft get their revenue by selling ads that accompany each search. However, Google is in hot water these days due to the ongoing investigations on the company. On the other hand, Amazon generates item sales in the search results. It also sells technology as a service to others.
There are also companies that are building search-as-a-service (SaaS) from the start. These include companies like Splunk, Sumo Logic and Elastic. These are both for customers and back-office processes.
Will Hayes, the CEO of Lucidworks, at an interview, mentioned the things that set Lucidworks apart from other startups and similar companies. He said that the company uses AI processes and machine learning to go through the mountain of data and provide enterprise knowledge to workers, data to managers and other things that are being sought.
He gave the example of shopping experience and said, “Consider, I am on REI to buy hiking shoes. Then, I won’t just want to see the highest rated or the most expensive ones.”
The main idea is that the company builds algorithms that mention other data sources, like your location, your shopping experience, your purchases, and your buying patterns. This narrows the list consistently and focuses on the products you are most likely to buy. Hayes said on a lighter note, “Amazon has no quality and class.”
Currently, half of Lucidworks’ business is digital content and digital commerce. This means that the search for products is from most popular sites like Reddit and Red Hat. The Company also generates revenue from knowledge worker applications, in different organizations.
Lucidworks plans to continue expansion in this direction. They also want to add other features, which are semantic search features, to expand the overall queries. This indicates that Fusion can also be used to produce results.
Hayes said that people ask him continuously to compete with the search engine giants. However, Lucidworks doesn’t see itself going against Microsoft and Google as a first-party search platform. Hayes thinks that these search companies’ ideas are the thing of the past. Now, there is a need for more targeted and focused searches, which Lucidworks will provide.
Jonathan Murphy of the Francisco Partners, states, “We still see a lot of potential in this market. We loved the idea of the next-generation search a lot. On one hand, it narrows and focuses the searches from the broader internet for internet users. On the other hand, it also works as an enterprise software product.”
Hayes says, “Our long term goal is to build something extraordinary that will stay for a long time. However, our current focus is to continue our growth.”
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