French search engine giant Algolia snaps up Sydney startup

- September 13, 2022 2 MIN READ
The Search team in 2018
Sydney startup Search.io has been acquired by US-based French tech company Algolia is a deal believed to be worth nine figures.

The startup, founded in 2015, was previously known as Sajari, having rebranded in December last year.

While the acquisition cost in cash and scrip was not disclosed. The deal reportedly went through after a VC pulled out of a $20 million Series A for Search, a cloud-based instant search platform for websites and e-commerce. The startup has previously been backed by local VC Tidal Ventures.

The business slides neatly into Algolia’s core business as an API-first search and discovery platform. Search’s flagship product is Neuralsearch, a vector search engine that uses hashing technology. Algolia will combine its keyword search and Neuralsearch into a single API.

Algolia CEO Bernadette Nixon said they planned to disrupt the search market with the acquisition.

“We’ll be the only product on the market that combines keyword search with vector-based semantic and image search, along with vector-based recommendations,” she said

“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.”

Search.io currently serves billions of API requests every month on more than a thousand sites globally including BBC, Catch, Lockheed Martin, the NSW government, and Sennheiser. It has a strong US client base, having opened an office there in 2019.

CEO and cofounder Hamish Ogilvy said they were pleased to become part of a world-class leader in search and discovery

“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,” he said.

“Algolia has led the world in delivering highly redundant, globally distributed instant search using more than 100 data centres 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.”

Nixon said Search customers and partners will continue to contact Search.io through the same channels they already use for the foreseeable future and Algolia will continue to honour all contracts with Search.io customers in accordance with the terms set forth in the original contracts.

“Welcoming the Search.io team, and launching our hybrid search engine represents the start of Algolia’s next chapter,” she said.