Algolia goes beyond web search to place research


Algolia offers a hosted search platform. This means that if you are a developer wanting to provide search within your apps and websites, you just need to integrate Algolia’s search engine and it does it all for you, letting you focus on what’s right. important: your application. Since its creation in 2012, Algolia has won over 1,500 customers.

The Algolia API quickly returns search results and provides an as-you-type search experience for end users. Perfect example of the transfer to third parties of parts of an application, Algolia follows in the footsteps of communication platforms such as Twilio and messaging platforms such as Sending grid. To offer both economy and speed, Algolia has built a distributed, cloud-based research network. It operates 12 individual data centers around the world to provide 50ms response time for research in major markets around the world.

The company has a few announcements today: a product announcement (more on that later) and a fundraising announcement.

Algolia landed an $ 18.3 million Series A round of funding, an impressive number in this depressed climate. The round was led by a leading venture capital firm Accel Partners, with the participation of Alven Capital, Point Nine Capital, Storm winds, Lead Edge Capital, Ilya Sukhar from Parse, Solomon Hykes from Docker, Kevin rose and Splunk Erik Swan.

It seems that on-site search is not enough, as Algolia expands and offers Algolia Places, a comprehensive and easy-to-use auto-complete address component. What does it all mean? Algolia provides an easy way for developers to offer address autocomplete on their websites to make address fields in HTML forms more user-friendly. Algolia Places relies on OpenStreetMapopen source database of places around the world.

While it’s not here to cure cancer or find world peace, Algolia Places fixes something that’s a glitch for app developers. The product has been well thought out and features some minor but important innovations that make it easier to use, such as Algolia’s main research product. Places allows for autocomplete and tolerates typographical errors in search strings. It’s also contextual and offers a mix of relevant local and famous places.

my point of view

As I mentioned, Autocomplete addresses is not a cure for cancer. Having said that, it is a useful thing for anyone who is fed up with entering their physical address multiple times a day. From this point of view, it is a logical thing for Algolia to offer.

My question relates more to the sustainability of this solution. After all, Algolia uses an open source database of publicly accessible places. Is it difficult for someone to set up a similar service elsewhere. I posed this to Algolia and asked them what the intention was with Places. Is it a commercial product? Their response indicated that it was more about publicizing Algolia and noted:

The defense of Algolia Places comes “simply from the speed and relevance that are achieved through the engine. The relevance is not yet perfect, but we continue to improve it on a daily basis. We did not create Places to earn money directly from it. no direct monetization, rather it is a way to improve brand awareness. On a case-by-case basis and for large users (large users), we then invoice our standard Algolia rate. “

That makes sense, and the fact that it’s free and there aren’t any obvious pitfalls could give Algolia the chance to build some momentum with Places. And for all those who tire of all these incessant strikes, Places will be a happy arrival.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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