The Twiggle Challenges Amazon
July 11, 2016
Twiggle sounds like the name for a character in a children’s show. Rather Twiggle is the name of an Israeli startup. It is working on the algorithms and other operating factors to power ecommerce search, using machine learning techniques, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing. Venture Beat shares an insightful story about how Twiggle is not going to compete with Google, but rather Amazon’s A9: “Twiggle Raises $12.5 Million To Challenge A9 Ecommerce Search Engine.”
The story explains that:
“Rather than going up against well-established search giants like Google, Twiggle is working more along the lines of A9, a search and ad-tech subsidiary created by Amazon more than a decade ago. While A9 is what Amazon itself uses to power search across its myriad properties, the technology has also been opened to third-party online retailers. And it’s this territory Twiggle is now looking to encroach on.”
Twiggle has not released its technology, but interested users can request early access and it is already being incorporated by some big players in the eCommerce game (or so we’re told).
Twiggle functions similar to A9 with the ultimate goal of converting potential customers into paying customers. Twiggle uses keywords to generate results based on keywords and it might transition into a visual search where users submit an image to find like items. Natural language processing will also take regular human conversation and turn it into results.
The series A round funding of $12.5 million was led by Naspers with other contributors. Yahoo Japan, State of Mind Ventures, and Sir Ronald Cohen. Twiggle says it is not copying A9 and has powerful search technology behind it, but are the rebranding the same product under a new title? When they deliver the goods, then the tests will tell.