As Google Goes

A rising tide on anticipation for Google’s
IPO
may be lifting all boats in the search sector. That’s just fine with
Steve Papa, CEO of enterprise search firm Endeca.

“[Google] has raised people’s awareness of what high-quality information
discovery can do,” Papa told internetnews.com. “It’s led people to
prioritize their projects.”

This morning, Cambridge, Mass.,-based Endeca announced that it has raised $15
million in third-round venture capital financing.

Lehman Brothers’ Venture Partners and Granite Global Partners led the round
while previous investors Ampersand Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners,
Venrock Associates and DN Capital also deepened their commitment with new
investments.

Five-year-old Endeca will use the backing to expand and develop new products and
services aimed at verticals like manufacturing and the public sector. It’s
also looking at new geographic markets.

The cash could also be used to purchase search technology from another firm,
Papa said, although to date, Endeca’s software has been developed in-house.

“We’ve scaled up the business during the past nine months,” Papa said. “In
Europe, we’ve gone from two to 10 people. The next logical step is farther
east, Japan, Korea and China.”

In the last six months, Google’s planed IPO and the paid placement trend
have grabbed most of the headlines in the sector.

But Endeca and a handful of other search specialists have been quietly
winning jobs to organize information on corporate intranets (increasing
worker productivity) or improve online customer service sections (deflecting
calls to service representatives).

For example, earlier this year Endeca notched a
deal
with IBM to help shoppers find notebooks,
desktops, workstations and servers at Big Blue’s online store.

The deal includes Endeca’s InFront offering, which considers price, operating
systems, model, weight and special features in sorting through offerings.
The product also generates customized promotions that are specific to each
customer’s shopping session. Papa said more deals are in the works with
IBM.

Endeca, which is privately held and has about 150 employees, also counts
bookseller Barnes & Noble, consumer electronics retailer CompUSA and
financial services firm Quick and Reilly (an affiliate of Bank of America)
as customers.

Papa said Endeca rarely competes with Google. More often, it goes up against
Verity and Autonomy.

As for whether the interest in Google’s IPO affects Endeca’s plans or
timetable to go public, Papa kept his cards close to his vest.

“I keep my focus on building value of company,” he said.

News Around the Web