Toronto startup thinks it can beat Google at its own game by making mobile search more graphically based.
A Toronto-based app developer is taking on search giant Google with Kickvox, a more visual way to view your search results on a mobile device.
Google users are conditioned to expect a list of blue links in response to their search queries. But on a smartphone with a four-inch screen, that may not be the best way to get the information you want. Kickvox tries to serve up your answers faster by displaying icons that will take you to popular Web databases like Wikipedia, IMDB, and Amazon.
Founded at the end of 2010, Kickvox Inc. has solely focused on the mobile search experience and has won seed funding from New York-based investors. Last week, it launched the beta version of its app for iOS and Android devices and chief technical officer Brian Golod is hoping this app can find a crack in Google’s seemingly impenetrable armor.
“Competing with such a big company can be challenging, but the value of being an agile company and being able to take bigger risks should not be underestimated,” he says in an e-mail. “Google is monopolizing mobile search and it’s in everyone’s best interest for Kickvox to succeed.”
Kickvox allows users to tap on tabs to reveal web pages, images, videos, and news related to their query. Most searches display a snippet from Wikipedia at the top of the page to provide answers without having to tap into any other links. The app also has a directory of popular mobile-friendly Web sites to allow easy browsing without the need to type.
The search results are primarily fed by Microsoft’s Bing. But Kickvox does have its own Web crawler for some custom tasks, Golod says.
“The full version of Kickvox, currently in development, will feature a strong browsing functionality, enhanced categorization technology and a series of features unlike anything seen today on search engine,” Golod says. “With our beta release, we have proven that Kickvox has what it takes to develop a better search engine. It’s just a matter of smoothing out the edges and introducing some of the exciting features that we have under our sleeves.”
Besides continuing to develop its mobile-only search engine, Kickvox is looking to raise another round of seed funding.
Kickvox can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play.