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The deal will help Snowflake to “accelerate search in the Data Cloud through generative AI”.

This week cloud-based data warehouse company Snowflake announced that it was acquiring Neeva, a search startup based in Mountain View, California. While the companies refused to disclose the financial particulars, they did explain that the deal was aimed at adding generative AI-based search to its Data Cloud platform.

VentureBeat reports that the acquisition was first revealed on Snowflake’s earnings call. “Engaging with data through natural language is becoming popular with advancements in AI”, said Frank Slootman, CEO of the Bozeman, Montana based Snowflake. “This will enable Snowflake users and application developers to build rich search-enabled and conversational experiences”.

“We believe Neeva will increase our opportunity to allow non-technical users to extract value from their data, more broadly”, he added.

Neeva was founded by Google alumni

Neeva was founded in 2019 by Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, who both worked at Google’s advertising technology division. The search startup raised $77.5 million in funding prior to being acquired by Snowflake.

The company at first aimed to create a subscription-based search engine that would respect users’ privacy and not show ads, but it announced last week that it was jettisoning its consumer search product in order to focus on enterprise use cases of large language models (LLMs) and generative AI.

It’s all about data, after all

Benoit Dageville, Snowflake’s co-founder and VP of products, explained how the companies will work together in a blog post. “The ability for teams to discover precisely the right data point, data asset, or data insight is critical to maximizing the value of data”, he wrote.

“Neeva created a unique and transformative search experience that leverages generative AI and other innovations to allow users to query and discover data in new ways”, Dageville explains. “We plan to infuse and leverage these innovations across the Data Cloud to the benefit of our customers, partners and developers”.

Dageville summed up the motivation for the acquisition: “Neeva allows us to tap into some of the most cutting-edge search technologies available to bring search and conversation in Snowflake to a new level”.