SeMI: Yet Another Smart Search System

May 2, 2022

Once upon a time, search engines were incapable of understanding queries phrased like a question. With the advent of smarter technology, particularly machine learning and AI, search engines are almost as smart as a human. TechCrunch discusses how one company has created its take on smart search: “SeMI Technologies’ Search Engine Opens Up New Ways To Query Your Data.”

SeMi Technologies invented Weaviate, a vector search engine that uses a unique AI-first database with machine outputting vectors aka embedding. The company wishes to commoditize the technology and has an open source business model. Bob can Luijt is the CEO and co-founder of SeMI. He wants his vector search engine to remain open source so it can help people and businesses that truly need it. SeMi did not create the models used in Weaviate, instead, they deliver the power and systems recommendations.

SeMI Technologies has had over one hundred use cases, including startups powered by vector search engines and use Weaviate to deliver results. SeMi was not actively seeking investors when it received funding in 2020:

“SeMI raised a $1.2 million seed in August 2020 from Zetta Venture Partners and ING Ventures and since then has been on the radar of venture capital companies. Since then, its software has been downloaded almost 750,000 times, growth of about 30% per month. Van Luijt didn’t give specifics on the company’s growth metrics, but did say the number of downloads can correlate to sales of enterprise licenses and managed services. In addition, the spike in usage and understanding of the added value of Weaviate has caused all growth metrics to go up, and the company to exhaust its seed funding.

The company has received more funding in a Series A round that ended with $16 million. The CEO will use the money to hire more employees in the US and Europe, expand its open source community, focus on go-to-market and products centered on the open source core, and invest in research where machine learning overlaps with computer science.

Whitney Grace, May 2, 2022


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