A new startup, called You.com, is looking to challenge Google and it is developing a more customisable search engine. The Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff will invest in it.
For many years, entrepreneurs avoided the idea of competing with this search engine due to the fact that Google dominates within the Internet space.
But the growing consumer privacy concerns and the increase of antitrust scrutiny on Google from regulators in the United States and elsewhere has led to what some investors perceive as an opening. In a press release Marc Benioff says:
“We’re at a critical inflection point in the internet’s history, and we must take steps to restore trust online,” He believes that you.com is ‘the future of search’.
You.com was found by two former top AI scientists at Salesforce last year. It lets users set preferred websites which will allow them to see rows of search results from services that they prefer. Not only that but it will not track its users. Richard Socher, a co-founder and CEO, promises that it will not sell ‘privacy-invasive ads’.
The startup’s purpose is to collect fees for facilitating transactions like food orders or flight bookings. It wants to help other publishers generate revenue through ads which are embedded among search results.
According to Socher, there are new antitrust rules that would help You.com grow. He thinks that popular browsers which are owned by Apple and Google make it difficult for users to replace Google as a default search and all of this is only in the name of security.