Web discovery engine crosses 25 million users worldwide

Flipora, a Web discovery engine headed by two Indian graduates of Stanford University, recently crossed the 25 million users mark. Available in 11 languages, the engine has users from over 200 countries.

The engine uses machine learning (algorithms) to infer a user’s interests based on their Web browsing history and Facebook activity and then helps users discover websites personalized to their interests.

The two entrepreneurs — Jonathan Siddharth and Vijay Krishnan — said their goal was to make Flipora “the Google of discovery” and have promised a mobile app later this year.

The journey to Flipora began in 2009 and they had raised their last round of funding in 2010. Unlike most Silicon Valley companies, the team focussed on a sustainable business model alongside building a great product. That paid off as they hit profitability last year and are continuing to grow revenues with the rise in user base. They will be raising another round of funding this year to further scale the business.

“This has been an exciting, record breaking year for Flipora, and user-growth is only part of it,” Mr. Siddharth said. “Flipora’s user base has been almost doubling every year. We have also recorded an all-time high in new user registrations, with nearly 100,000 new registrations in a single day. This is a huge milestone for Flipora.”

Though there are other ways users discover websites via the Facebook News Feed and Twitter, Mr. Siddharth and Mr. Krishnan said the differentiator is the intelligent, fine-grained curation made possible by personalisation technology called ‘FlipCat’ that analyses browsing history and Facebook data to automatically identify a user’s interests. Users can also choose to follow topics and other interesting users.

This means the browsing data of all Flipora users resides in the cloud. “Users don't have a problem sharing such data if the value of the service they get in return is worth it,” claimed Mr. Krishnan.