What is Neeva?

Neeva is a subscription-based, ad-free search engine and browser that is powered by AI. The platform is the brainchild of Sridhar Ramaswamy, an ex-Google VP of Ads, and Vivek Raghunathan, an ex-VP of monetization at YouTube.

The pair first met in the early days of search ads at Google and reportedly came up with the idea for Neeva over coffee and hikes. 

How does Neeva work?

Neeva was started based on the belief that Google’s constant pursuit of growth had compromised both user privacy and the quality of search results. 

Over his 15 years at the helm of Google’s advertising arm, Ramaswamy noted that ads had pushed useful search results to the bottom of the page. Furthermore, user privacy had been sacrificed in favor of tools that tracked what ads users were seeing.

In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, he explained the core premise of Neeva: “Neeva is a search engine that looks for information on the web as well as personal files like emails and other documents. It will not show any advertisements and it will not collect or profit from user data.

Neeva was built on existing content and data from the likes of Bing, Intrinio, Apple, and Weather.com. To provide the most accurate search results, Neeva uses the latest LLMs to provide search results based on personal data. This may include one’s contact list, favorite retailers, and news subscriptions, for example. It will also sync a user’s email, calendar, and other documents or accounts to enable easy access from the Neeva search bar.

In addition to the core browser and search engine, Neeva offers browser extensions that block third-party trackers and invasive cookie pop-ups across Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. There is also an app available for iOS and Android devices.

Is Neeva free to use?

Neeva was free to use when it was first released, and while a free option remains, the platform has transitioned to a subscription model as follows:

  1. Free – the free plan offers private search and tracker-blocking functionality, but the number of ad-free searches and devices on the same account is capped.
  2. Premium Monthly ($5.99/month) – this plan offers unlimited ad-free searches with no restrictions on the number of personal accounts. There is also a premium password manager and VPN included.
  3. Premium Annual ($4.17/month, billed annually).

Who has invested in Neeva?

Some of Neeva’s investors include:

  • Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn co-founder and member of the PayPal mafia who is also a partner at VC firm Greylock Partners.
  • Margo Georgiadis – an investor and business leader who is the former CEO of Mattel and Ancestry. Georgiadis is currently a board member of McDonald’s.
  • Bill Coughran – another former Google employee who joined the company in 2003 and became an SVP of Engineering. Coughran is now a Founder’s Coach and Partner at Sequoia Capital.
  • Asheem Chandna – a venture capitalist and general partner at Greylock. Chandna is a founding investor of Neeva and also sits on its Board of Directors.

Key takeaways:

  • Neeva is a subscription-based, ad-free search engine and browser that is powered by AI. The platform is the brainchild of Sridhar Ramaswamy, an ex-Google VP of Ads, and Vivek Raghunathan, an ex-VP of monetization at YouTube.
  • Neeva was built on existing content and data from the likes of Bing, Intrinio, Apple, and Weather.com. To provide the most accurate search results, Neeva uses the latest LLMs to provide search results based on personal data.
  • Neeva was free to use when it was first released, and while a free plan remains, the platform has transitioned to a subscription model that offers an ad-free search experience. Key Neeva investors include Bill Coughran, Asheem Chandna, Margo Georgiadis, and Reid Hoffman. 

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