From the Why-Even-Bother Department: Enterprise search search company Vivisimo raised its first venture capital today—$4 million from North Atlantic Capital—after eight years in existence. Vivisimo is a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon and a pioneer in applying clustering technology to search. You can see its technology in action at Clusty, but that is really just a demo for its enterprise search product. It is a nice little business. The company says it is profitable, and got there with nothing more than $500,000 in seed capital and about $1 million in grants from the National Science Foundation.
But the operative word here is “little.” In enterprise search it is up against Google, Microsoft (which just plunked down $1.2 billion for Fast Search & Transfer), and Endeca (which has raised more than $50 million, most recently from SAP and Intel). All of those companies have a lot more dry powder than Vivisimo in an increasingly competitive market. Vivisimo hasn’t taken the enterprise search world by storm so far. Why would another $4 million make any difference?
(This is not meant to be a review of Vivisimo’s enterprise technology—I have not seen it. If anyone out there has seriously evaluated Vivisimo versus the other enterprise search products, please share your opinions in comments. )