Neeva hires Amazon Exec to boost ad-free search engine Chase Google

  • Neeva, creator of an ad-free search engine, hired former Amazon vice president Steven Shure.
  • Neeva was founded by former senior vice president of Google advertising, Sridhar Ramaswamy.
  • Shure will work on the development of the startup’s future subscription service.

Neeva hired longtime Amazon vice president Steven shure as the first commercial director to help the startup develop its subscription search engine.

Shure joined Amazon in 2006 as Senior Vice President of Prime. He joins Neeva as he develops his own subscription service for his search engine, with the goal of gaining more users who want an ad-free experience.

“He has tremendous experience in subscription businesses,” said Neeva CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy. “Like many other amazing business leaders from Amazon, he’s an incredibly strategic thinker.”

Ramaswamy, former senior vice president of advertising and commerce at Google, founded Neeva in 2019. The startup has raised $ 77.5 million to date and has Sequoia and Greylock Partners as investors.

Since leaving Google, he has criticized the search giant for letting his addiction to ads reduce the quality of search results. Neeva is Ramaswamy’s answer to this problem. Unlike Google and other competitors like


, Neeva costs $ 4.95 per month (after a three-month free trial). In return, users get an ad-free search experience with the promise that their data will never be sold to third parties. Neeva uses the Microsoft Bing API for basic searches.

Neeva collects some search history data, but says she only uses it to improve results. Data is deleted by default after 90 days, although users can turn off tracking completely if they choose.

Shure’s background in building subscription services makes him an obvious candidate for Neeva. Prior to Amazon, he oversaw the marketing and subscription programs at publisher Time Inc.

“For Neeva to be successful in the long term, we need to create something that is more than Google, with no ads or different privacy settings,” Shure told Insider. “We have to build something that is an incredible alternative, which some subsets of people see as fundamentally better.”

This will involve a combination of better results at the top of the search page, along with other new features such as FastTap, a drop-down menu of suggested links that appear when the user types a query, allowing them to bypass the results page entirely.

Shure says the strategy won’t just involve removing aspects of Google that people don’t like. “I’m thinking more about how you could more profitably use, for clients, the large volume of real estate screens currently occupied by paid placements on Google and other search engines,” he said. .

The role will also be to build relationships with publishers. Neeva is committed to sharing at least 20% of its revenue with partners whose information directly responds to a user’s search query, another way to differentiate itself from Google.

Neeva went live in June and currently has nearly 40,000 active users, Ramaswamy told Insider. The service is available as an iOS app and browser extension, but there are plans to expand it, including opportunities in Europe and Canada, Ramaswamy said.

“The biggest obstacle is the people giving us a chance,” he said. “It allows people to find out what research can be. “

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