Xayn Raises $12 Million for Its Private Search and Discovery Browser
New $12 million Series A funding supports development of the private Internet discovery products and expansion into the Asian market
- The private search and discovery browser Xayn raises $12 million in Series A
- Leading Japanese investors Global Brain and KDDI support the Berlin-based company with expansion to Japan and Asia
- Xayn is also strengthening its C-suite with three new experts in finance, product development and growth marketing
BERLIN, August 9, 2021 – Xayn, the private search and discovery browser for the Internet, has raised almost $12 million in Series A funding led by the Japanese investors Global Brain and KDDI with participation from the previous backers, including Earlybird. This brings Xayn’s total financing to more than $23 million to date. Xayn will use the Series A funding for product development and for expanding the capabilities of its app which is a fusion of a search engine, a discovery feed and a mobile browser. The Berlin-based company will also extend its geographical reach and focus on the expansion in the Asian market, starting with Japan.
“Finding information on the Internet is one of the most important things we do online. And we proved with Xayn that you can have it all: great results through personalization, privacy by design through advanced technology, and a convenient user experience through clean design,” said Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, Co-Founder and CEO of Xayn. “In an industry in which selling data and delivering ads en masse are the norm, we choose to lead with privacy instead and put user satisfaction front and center. Xayn is the search and discovery engine that does not force users to make any compromises – not with the quality of their online experience and search results and certainly not with the privacy of their personal data. Xayn helps you discover your favorite part of the Internet.”
The Berlin-based company acquires its Series A funding at a moment when privacy-protecting technology is attracting increasing attention from users, companies, and policymakers alike. Even Big Tech has begun to introduce greater privacy and data protection measures, but the demand for alternatives keeps growing. In the past few years, numerous privacy breaches, ever more aggressive targeted ads, and legislation such as the EU’s GDPR or California’s CCPA have raised public awareness about the importance of protecting personal data online.
“The market for private online search is growing, but Xayn is head and shoulders above everyone else because of the way they’re re-thinking how finding information online should be. They offer users not only a mere search engine but rather an entire discovery engine with their feed of personalized content suggestions taken from the entire Internet,” explained Naoki Kamimeada, Partner at Global Brain Corporation. “The Xayn team’s scientific and technological expertise, along with their unyielding commitment to data privacy and great user experience, help people dive deeper into the Internet in a new way and according to their individual needs. We are very excited to back the company on its path to re-defining how people search and browse the Internet.”
“With its future-focused technology of federated learning Xayn offers an approach that’s easy and convenient to use. This European discovery engine uniquely combines efficient AI with a privacy-protecting focus and a smooth user experience. At KDDI, we’re constantly on the lookout for companies that can shape the future with their expertise and technology. That’s why it was a perfect match for us and why we decided to include Xayn in the portfolio of companies that we’re investing in via Global Brain,” elaborates Kazuhiko Chuman, Head of KDDI Open Innovation Fund. “The time has come for a change in the entire search market and we’re proud to back the most promising newcomer in the industry.”
“We are delighted about our new close partners Global Brain and KDDI, whose investment and expertise will support our expansion into the Asian market,” highlights Felix Hahmann, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Xayn. “We’re proud that our existing investors Earlybird and Dominik Schiener are also participating in this new financing round. This is an important signal that our business strategy is on target and that we are well-positioned for continuous growth.”
After launching as a private search engine in December 2020, Xayn has developed into a discovery browser for the entire Internet. Xayn is a fusion of a discovery feed, a search engine and a mobile browser with privacy, personalization and clean design. Combining the latest privacy-protecting AI technology with a strong focus on a smooth user experience, the Berlin-based company re-defines the way people find information online. Xayn’s algorithms do not rely on centralized data collection. Instead, the AI trains directly on users’ devices, does not transmit private information and provides users with an individually tailored web experience. Since its launch, the app has already been downloaded around 215,000 times worldwide. Meanwhile, the company is already working on a web version of its app which will be released soon.
The core features of Xayn include:
- Personalized search results: Based on past searches and behavior, users receive highly personalized and, therefore, relevant results for their web searches.
- Deep search: Enables users to dive deeper into a topic and assemble their personal reference library of relevant content.
- Discovery feed: Offers users a personalized feed of the entire Internet which learns from their Tinder-like swipes. Based on users’ interactions, the AI suggests content as a starting point for diving deeper into the riches of the Internet.
- Powerful and private AI: Trains and learns directly on users’ devices to deliver personalized content suggestions and search results, without collecting or sharing personal data. With its privacy by design approach, Xayn doesn’t track any user data.
- AI swiping: Puts users in control with handy right or left swipe actions to approve or dismiss specific search results or content suggestions.
- Noise-free: Eliminates distracting Internet noise by being ad-free, blocking ads on third-party sites and offering a clean reader mode.
In line with its Series A funding and the expansion plans, Xayn is also strengthening its C-suite: In addition to the three co-founders Leif-Nissen Lundbæk (Chief Executive Officer), Professor Michael Huth (Chief Research Officer), and Felix Hahmann (Chief Operations Officer), Dr Daniel von Heyl will come on board as Chief Financial Officer, Frank Pepermans will take on the role of Chief Technology Officer, and Michael Briggs will join as Chief Growth Officer. Von Heyl has more than 25 years of experience in finance and management, having held leadership positions at global financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas as well as Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Pepermans has worked for more than 17 years as a versatile developer whose open-source frameworks have been used by leading companies. Briggs brings almost 20 years of expertise in marketing and growth hacking to the team, having held leadership positions at Skyscanner and Canva before. With these newly added decades of experience across management, strategic finance, product development and growth marketing, the strong leadership team is ready to scale Xayn on a global level.
Xayn is the private search and discovery browser for the internet. The fusion of a search engine, a discovery feed and a mobile browser focuses on privacy, personalization and clean design. Using the latest AI technology made in Europe, the company of the same name ushers in a new generation of user-friendly privacy tech.
The AI company started as a research project at The University of Oxford and Imperial College London by Leif-Nissen Lundbæk (PhD) and Professor Michael Huth. Together with Felix Hahmann, they founded the tech company in 2017. To this day, that academic vision remains with a workforce comprised of around 30% PhDs. The company’s open-source framework for federated analytics and learning, XayNet, is the basis of the discovery engine Xayn. The Berlin-based company has received investment funding of more than $23 million from Global Brain Corporation, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, Earlybird as well as Dominik Schiener. Xayn has worked with corporations such as Porsche, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, and Siemens.
About Global Brain Corporation
Global Brain Corporation (GB) is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Tokyo. It supports startups that tackle pressing problems, create innovation, and contribute to the stimulation of the Japanese economy and beyond. Its high-achieving, experienced professionals identify excellent startups through multiple global locations in Europe, US and APAC, and provide hands-on growth support. Global Brain is uniquely positioned in the venture scene, managing flagship funds alongside multiple corporate funds, with Japanese telco giant’s KDDI being one of them. Global Brain’s total asset under management is over US$1 billion, making it the largest domestic independent venture capital firm in Japan.
More info: https://globalbrains.com/en
Dr. Clara Herdeanu
Head of Communications