Marc Andreessen Invests In Stealth Search Engine, Blekko

Posted May 14, 2008

“Search is like 7 hard problems wrapped into a stack. Distributed systems, html analytics, text analytics/semantics, anti-spam, AI/ML, frontend/UI,”stated Rick Skrenta, founder of Blekko. “And scale… Apart from the sexy high end algos there are also the boring 10-year old system libraries and off-the-shelf tools that crack under stress and sometimes need a look. You open the hood and wonder how the thing ever worked in the first place…”

Rick Skrenta is starting a search engine company and it’s being backed by the co-founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen. Who is Skrenta and what are his credentials? Skrenta co-founded Topix and NewHoo. NewHoo was bought by Netscape in 1998 and was renamed to the Open Directory Project. Skrenta wrote the first microcomputer virus called Elk Cloner that affected the Apple II in 9th grade. Skrenta developed the RingSurf webring system and it was later acquired by Quiklink Interactive.

Skrenta’s search engine company is called Blekko. The company is currently in stealth mode and is hiring developers. The only content on the site right now is a picture of the above sock puppet, an about page that links to TechCrunch and a jobs link which redirects to Skrenta’s blog.

Blekko raised $3 million in a second series of funding recently. The previous round of funding was also $3 million. Based on equity distribution, the company is now valuated at $23 million. The investors involved in this round was Marc, SoftTech VC, and Western Technology Investment. The company won’t be public until 2009.

Information Source:
[1] TechCrunch: Stealth Search Engine Blekko Gets Money From Marc Andreessen, SoftTech by Michael Arrington