ⓘ Featured image: Meekd co-founders, Sameer Nath (L) and Muhannad AlDarrai; Credits: Dubai Chamber
Dubai-based meekd.com, a global search engine, on Tuesday 29 September 2020, announced that the company has raised its first round of undisclosed seed funding. The seed funding round for Meekd.com was led by a UAE-based film production and distribution company, Xmovies, with participation from an undisclosed angel investor.
The company will deploy the fresh funds towards upgrading its IT infrastructure, product innovation, and talent acquisition.
Founded in 2017 by Muhannad AlDarrai and Sameer Nath, the Dubai-based tech platform offers a search engine that deprioritises sponsored and promotional content and offers real organic results. The platform was officially launched in February 2019, under its parent company called AlphaNumeric Inc., based in the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec).
The Dubai-based search engine was created after AlDarrai and his former colleague Nath identified that the search for regional information using a typical search engine did not deliver the most relevant or accurate results. The duo was also frustrated by pages riddled with paid-for results and sponsored listings that make it difficult for non-paying businesses to be found and attract visitors.
Meekd.com claims to be handling over 200,000 searches per day at present – becoming the highest-ranked startup of the UAE based on Alexa’s Global Web Ranking. The search engine has handled a total of more than eight million searches so far and released a new set of features on August 1, 2020, he added. These include ‘Trending News’ that delivers ‘news cards’, which present stories collated from different news outlets for each trending topic and are updated every 15 minutes.
Unlike Google and many other search engine giants, UAE’s homegrown search engine platform, Meekd.com leverages user votes to rank web pages, as highlighted by Muhannad AlDarrai, CEO & Co-founder of Meekd in a statement to Entrepreneur.com.
Speaking of the unique model of Meekd.com, AlDarrai added,
“For example if the trending story right now is ‘US elections’, you will find articles written by CNN, Fox News, Gulf News, and others, covering this specific story in one news card,”
“We believe that the ranking of the online search results should not be controlled by corporationsand cryptic algorithms,”
AlDarrai further explained,
“When searching for some specific topics on meekd.com, we show our users a complete summary about that specific topic in [both] text [format as well as] photos and videos,”
Speaking of Meekd’s video search algorithm, AlDarrai said,
“For video search, we show a variety of results from different videos and social media website like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. We are working on refining further the video results to be as relevant as possible to the user’s query now that we’ve figured out how to scrape data from these websites, which no search engine is currently doing.”
According to a news feed published on Entrepreneur.com about Meekd.com, the company is planning to launch ‘Weather’ and ‘Dictionary’ features in the coming months.
Although the concept of delivering organic results based on user votes was tough to attract investors, the founders AlDarrai and Nath bootstrapped the company for two years and now believe that this seed funding round for the company is a visible growth factor for Meekd.com.
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