Algolia acquires innovative search engine Search.io to further its offering

Bernadette Nixon, Chief Executive Officer at Algolia

Algolia, the 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 tech, 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.

What does the acquisition mean for Algolia?

Algolia stays true to these tenets while revolutionizing search and discovery by providing the 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.

“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 will be the only product on the global 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,” Bernadette Nixon further said.

The combination of two search pioneers – Algolia (with its keyword search) and Search.io (with its vector-based semantic search) – enables Algolia to effectively surface the most accurate and relevant results for users, whether they use keywords or human expressions.

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.”

What does the transaction mean for the industry?

Many firms claim to offer semantic search, however, they don’t 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. 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,” Nixon further commented.

What does the acquisition mean for Search.io?

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 join a world-class leader in search and discovery,” said Hamish Ogilvy, CEO 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,” Ogilvy added.

“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,” Hamish Ogilvy further commented.

Algolia’s acquisition of Search.io comes on the heels of a 2022 hiring stint, with the firm creating over 145 new jobs in Q2 alone and doubling its employees in the past year.