Berlin startup Archify shuts down namesake personal search service

By Silicon Allee |

Berlin-based startup Archify is shutting down its namesake personal search service to focus on new project Blippex, a privacy-conscious public search engine positioned as an alternative to Google.

Max Kossatz, Gerald Bäck and Walter Palmetshofer (who left the company last year) founded Archify in Vienna in 2010 and moved to Berlin after raising seed funding from big-hitting London VC Balderton Capital. Using a browser plugin, the company’s namesake service saves every web page and every social stream update for easy searching later, offering a fix to the inevitable “where did I see that great article/quote/image” moment.

Less than two weeks ago, Archify released new service Blippex, a search engine built using the same underlying technology as Archify. Instead of following Google’s PageRank and ranking pages by incoming links (among other factors), Blippex’s DwellRank takes notice of how long users actually spend on a page. As a bonus for the privacy-conscious, it doesn’t save IP addresses or search terms, just page URL, time and time spent.

Archify’s Gerald Bäck and Max Kossatz – now focusing on Blippex

The company announced yesterday it would close its original service to focus fully on Blippex. “When we talked two weeks ago the plan was to have two systems, but right now we look at the stats – yesterday we had 50,000 searches,” Kossatz (above told GigaOm’s David Meyer – compared to just 20,000 active users of Archify.

The company is currently trying to raise funding, which helped drive the decision. “Archify was working well but it’s hard to get money for it,” Kossatz said in an interview with VentureVillage, adding that the company is excited about Blippex’s traction.

Archify copped criticism for giving just two days notice before deleting accounts with its old system. That decision is in part down to high running costs – archiving users’ online lives, with about 1.5 billion documents currently stored, costs several thousand euro per month. The company has followed up today with a clear way for users to export data.


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