- New Product Combines Two of The Most Pervasive Online Activities: Web Search and Social Networking, to materially improve users’ web search experience
- Co-founder sold previous start-up for a reported $60 million in 2008
HeyStaks Technologies, a social web-search start up, today announced it has secured $1.4 million of funding from NCB Ventures.
HeyStaks has developed a patent protected desktop and mobile solution that allow users to harness their social graphs as they search on their favourite search engines, and thereby get the benefit of their trusted peers’ searches. HeyStaks delivers community-enhanced search results that are more personalised and relevant than conventional search engine results.
Jonathan Dillon, HeyStaks CEO and former VP of Corporate Development of Yahoo! said: “Relevance is a key driver in search engine quality and in the past it has been based largely on the content of web pages and the links between them. HeyStaks introduces a unique model of relevance for web search, one that is informed by your social connections in a way that adds value to existing mainstream search engine rankings. This model helps both consumer and enterprise searchers to get the right information at the right time, across all search engines.”
Users can create “search staks”, folders that contain all relevant online searches they have conducted in relation to a certain topic; these “staks” can be made public and easily shared with colleagues and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter, or kept private on an invite-only basis. The product provides an effective solution for users who share a common goal or shared interest, allowing them to search the web in a collaborative fashion using mainstream search engines, to make their searches much more productive and effective, by keeping the content relevance of results high.
Leo Hamill, Partner with NCB Ventures, and who will join the HeyStaks Board, said: “We are delighted to support such an innovative start-up company and world class team. We believe HeyStaks has the potential to change the consumer web search experience for the better, and develop a unique and higher ROI model of online advertising.”
Dr. Barry Smyth, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of HeyStaks said: “This investment by NCB Ventures is a significant milestone in the development of HeyStaks and will facilitate our product development across multiple platforms, and our overall global expansion. HeyStaks combines two of the most pervasive online activities, web search and social networking. It has the potential to transform the existing search engine eco-system by allowing users to influence search engine rankings. We have received strong support from our diverse group of closed beta users and are looking forward to the public launch of our product in November.”
Barry Smyth, was a co-founder of Changing Worlds, a leading provider of personalisation and intelligent portal solutions for mobile service providers, which was sold to Amdocs in November 2008 for $60 million.
About NCB Ventures (www.ncb-ventures.com):
NCB Ventures, the venture capital arm of NCB Group, manages the $100 million Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund. They invest $1-7 million in companies across a range of sectors and all stages of development.. NCB Ventures has $135 million under management, and has invested in 31 businesses taking them from early stages of development through to trade sale and IPO.
About HeyStaks: (http://www.heystaks.com/)
Established in 2007, and now headquartered in San Francisco, HeyStaks (www.heystaks.com) is a unique technology that allows searchers to harness their social graphs as they search on their favourite search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc), effectively bringing together the content sharing world of the social networks and the query-based search world of mainstream search engines. HeyStaks delivers community-enhanced search results that are more personalised and relevant than conventional search engine results, and is fully integrated with the leading search engines. HeyStaks was founded by Prof Barry Smyth, Dr Maurice Coyle and Dr Peter Briggs.