Did you ever try to search for an app based on what it does rather than what it’s called?
For instance, if you search “book a flight” in the App Store, you get some appropriate apps, but also apps for books and games. There’s no decent search engine for apps. Into this void comes Quixey. The Mountain View, Calif., startup bills itself as “The Search Engine for Apps.” The company has focused on the B2B market, providing search technology for Sprint and Ask.com. Now it’s introducing an app for consumers.
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The app, which will be available for Android first and later on for iOS, aims to help consumers discover new apps. As the video below shows, someone looking for running apps will find them easily with Quixey, as will a late-night snacker.
Guru Gowrappan, EVP of product at the 4 year-old Quixey, makes no bones about comparing his company to a much larger one in Mountain View: “In the end we are trying to be the Google for apps,” he says. Gowrappan notes that more than 1.2 billion people now use apps. “That’s a pretty big market,” he says.
So why isn’t Google itself rushing to capitalize on app searches then? Couldn’t Google just add “apps” to its list of category searches including “images,” “books” and YouTube (formerly “videos”)? Gowrappan says he believes Google is interested though it hasn’t made any official announcements. Reps from Google could not be reached for comment on the company’s efforts to create an app search. Microsoft’s Bing however, offers an “integrated app search” on Windows Phone devices, a rep says. It should also be noted that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors is an investor in Quixey.
Innovation helped Quixey to receive $74.2 million in funding so far including a series C round earlier this month led by China’s Alibaba Group.