Swiftype: Making Site Search Simple As the Web Moves to Mobile

Sep 30, 2013

We are excited to announce our Series A investment in Swiftype, a rapidly growing “search as a service” platform that makes it possible for any website or mobile application to add modern search to their product in less than a minute. As an early seed investor, we have had the privilege of watching Swiftype grow from a proof of concept to a service that is today used by over 100,000 customers including some of the largest e-commerce, media, and technology companies in the world. This tremendous growth has largely been accomplished through word of mouth adoption and, remarkably, without any sales or marketing investment. In the past 12 months since launching their service, Swiftype has quietly become the largest search engine you’ve never heard of!

Swiftype’s rapid adoption can be attributed to three major factors. First, “search” has always been one of the hardest technical problems for engineering teams to solve. With the exception of Google, Amazon, and a handful of web giants, most companies struggle to maintain a high quality search experience because it requires large engineering teams and heavy resource investment. Swiftype makes search unbelievably simple by integrating into any application with just a few lines of Javascript and gives businesses unparalleled control over their search results. Second, because consumers are rapidly moving to mobile devices as their primary mode of consumption, search is becoming critical for user engagement. Users don’t have the luxury of using rich and complex navigation on a small screen, making search a more important feature for application developers. Finally, Google, which has long been synonymous with search, has been quietly exiting the “search as a service” market by shutting down products like Google Commerce Search. Google is has made it very clear that they are interested in making search great for Google’s bottom line, but not necessarily for anyone else.

For several years NEA has been investing in the rapidly growing area of cloud services that simplify very complex tasks for technical users, such as Braintree for payments (recently acquired by eBay for $800 million) and CloudFlare for web security and performance. As these companies have captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of businesses, they have achieved significant competitive advantage through network effects, scale, and data that have made them as formidable and knowledgeable as the largest tech companies in the world in their unique area of expertise. Swiftype today is already seeing more than 200 million search queries a month, and we believe their focus will enable them to provide the very best “search as a service” for any website or mobile application as their platform expands over time.

We are excited to work with Matt Riley and Quin Hoxie, the founders of Swiftype, who long ago asked why website search was inaccurate, inflexible, and expensive to implement. With Swiftype, luckily we no longer have to search for an answer.

Jon Sakoda is a Partner at NEA. Jon’s perspectives on VC and entrepreneurship can be found at or on Twitter @jonsakoda.