In December 2020, we covered the launch of a new smartphone app-based, Xayn. “A search engine?!” I hear you say? Well, yes, because despite the convenience of modern search engines’ ability to tailor their search results to the individual, this user-tracking at the expense of privacy.
This mass surveillance might improve Google’s search engine and Facebook’s ad targeting, to name just two examples, but. Internet users can easily switch to the US-based DuckDuckGo or France’s Qwant. Still, what they gain in solitude, they often lose in results through this lack of tailoring.
Berlin-based Zayn has developed a personalized but privacy-safe web search on smartphones, which replaces the cloud-based AI employed by Google et al. with the innate AI in-built into modern smartphones. The result is that no data about you is uploaded to Xayn’s servers. And this approach is not just for ‘privacy freaks’. Businesses that need search but don’t needmarket position are increasingly attracted by this model.
And the evidencetoday with the news that Zayn has now raised almost $12 million in Series A funding led by the Japanese investor’s Global Brain and KDDI (a Japanese telecommunications operator), with participation from previous backers, including the Earlybird VC in Berlin. Zayn’s total financing is now more than $23 million.
It would appear that Zayn’s fusion of a search engine, a discovery feed, and a result of the investment is that Zayn will now also focus on the Asian market, starting with Japan and Europe.players, mainly because Zayn can be built into OEM devices. The
Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, Co-Founder and CEO of Zayn said: “We proved with Zayn that you can have it all: great results through personalization,through advanced technology, and a convenient user experience through clean design.”
He added: “In an industry where selling data and delivering ads en masse are the norm, we choose to lead with privacy instead andsatisfaction front and center.” The funding comes as legislation such as the EU’s GDPR or California’s CCPA has raised public awareness about personal data online.
Since its launch, Zayn says its app has been downloadedworldwide, and a web version of its app is expected soon. Over a call, Lundbæk expanded on the KDDI aspect of the fund-raising: “The partnership with KDDI means we will give to Zayn for free, while the corporate – such as KDDI – is the actual customer but gives our search engine away for free.”
The core features of Zayn
an ad-free experience. Naoki Kamimeada, Partner at Global Brain Corporation, said: “The is growing, but Zayn is head and shoulders above everyone else because of how they’re re-thinking how finding information online should be.”
Kazuhiko Chuman, Head of KDDIFund, said: “This European discovery engine uniquely combines efficient AI with a privacy-protecting focus and a smooth user experience. At KDDI, we’re constantly looking for companies that can shape the future with their expertise and technology. That’s why it was a for us.”
In addition to the three co-founders Leif-Nissen Lundbæk (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.