Search makes the Internet work.
Google’s most valuable product (Web search) drives the majority of their revenue. Today each percentage of Web query volume is worth between $500M (1% of bing @ 30% market share) and $5B (1% Google @ 60% market share). Naturally the market is evolving. This flavor of search technology can’t be everything to everyone, and often doesn’t suit other Web apps, services, deep sites, stores and enterprise. Mobile apps in particular, are looking for ways to have a search experience similar to what exists on the Web but that access their stores directly.
We built Swiftype to provide search as a service — for websites and mobile applications.
We offer a free plan for a basic customizable search engine, and scale up to Enterprise accounts. Revenue comes from a monthly service plan. A Professional Account costs ~$600/month. Our business model is pretty similar to other business-critical SaaS models like Dropbox or Salesforce.