We started Neeva with the mission to take search back to its users. Having worked on search and search ads for over a decade, we sincerely believed that there was space for a model of search that put user and not advertiser interests first—a private, ads-free experience.
Building search engines is hard. It is even harder to do with a tiny team of 50 people who are up against entrenched organizations with endless resources. We overcame these obstacles and built a search stack from the ground up, running a crawl that fetched petabytes of information from the web and used that to power an independent search stack.
In early 2022, the upcoming impact of generative AI and LLMs became clear to us. We embarked on an ambitious effort to seamlessly blend LLMs into our search stack. We rallied the Neeva team around the vision to create an answer engine. We are proud of being the first search engine to provide cited, real-time AI answers to a majority of queries early this year.
But throughout this journey, we’ve discovered that it is one thing to build a search engine, and an entirely different thing to convince regular users of the need to switch to a better choice. From the unnecessary friction required to change default search settings, to the challenges in helping people understand the difference between a search engine and a browser, acquiring users has been really hard. Contrary to popular belief, convincing users to pay for a better experience was actually a less difficult problem compared to getting them to try a new search engine in the first place.
These headwinds, combined with the different economic environment, have made it clear that there is no longer a path towards creating a sustainable business in consumer search. As a result, over the next few weeks, we will be shutting down neeva.com and our consumer search product, and shifting to a new area of focus.
If you have a paid subscription to Neeva Premium, you will receive a refund for the unused portion of your subscription. We have more information for you in our FAQ. As part of the shutdown, we are deleting all user data. Apple iOS subscribers, please go to https://reportaproblem.apple.com/ to request your refund as soon as possible.
Neeva has a passionate community of customers and users who have supported us over the past few years. They have tried out early previews of our features, given us thoughtful feedback, and given us the love and encouragement that every young team needs. We are truly grateful to our community, and we are truly sorry that we aren’t able to continue to provide the search engine that you want and deserve.
What’s next for Neeva
Over the past year, we’ve seen the clear, pressing need to use LLMs effectively, inexpensively, safely, and responsibly. Many of the techniques we have pioneered with small models, size reduction, latency reduction, and inexpensive deployment are the elements that enterprises really want, and need, today. We are actively exploring how we can apply our search and LLM expertise in these settings, and we will provide updates on the future of our work and our team in the next few weeks.
We want to thank the Neeva team for the time, effort and dedication to build Neeva. It has been an honor and privilege to take on this challenge with all of you and we could not have chosen a better set of friends and colleagues to be on this journey.