Despite the million or so apps in each of the major app stores, it is still manual user searches that bring in a majority of app downloads (just behind personal recommendations at number one). Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all tried their level hardest to make app discovery a simple and seamless process, yet the sheer size and breadth of their marketplaces means any search results are sporadic at best.
This Mountain View, CA company has created a universal app search engine that understands human needs better than it does app names. The Quixey engine allows users to input the need they are attempting to solve rather than the name of the app they are searching for. Try putting a need into any of the app stores now, and you’ll get 2-3 quality apps and then a long-tail of mediocre apps with good keyword selection. Against their best efforts, app stores have become a marketplace where knowing the name of the app you want is crucial. Quixey’s “functional search” – their name for their natural language query ability – neatly solves this. On the back of this ability, Quixey has just raised a $50MM third round of investment led by Alibaba. This brings their total funding to $74MM.
Clearly Quixey’s backers believe this problem has gone unsolved by the major three app marketplaces, and signals the public’s frustration with the app discovery process. Expect to see more targeted app search engines and a slew of curators of “themes” as the number of apps continues to skyrocket.
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