Marqo, a startup specializing in AI-powered search and discovery, has successfully raised $5.2 million in seed investment. The funding round, led by Blackbird Ventures and featuring support from Creator Fund, January Capital, and Cohere’s co-founders, will be used to develop a unique form of vector search technology that continuously improves based on user engagement, setting it apart from existing vector databases.
Founded by Jesse Clark, former Lead Scientist at Amazon Robotics AI, and Tom Hamer, a former Amazon Web Services (AWS) software engineer, Marqo aims to revolutionize search experiences using machine learning models that understand content and meaning. Unlike traditional keyword search, Marqo can return more accurate search results, catering to text, image, or combined searches. While initially targeting end-user search applications such as e-commerce and marketplaces, the technology has broader applications in generative AI, analytics, and security.
The unique feature of Marqo’s vector search technology lies in its ability to learn from user engagement, continuously enhancing the relevance of search results. This innovation addresses the limitations of legacy keyword search systems and provides more contextually relevant search outcomes.
“Customers want search experiences that anticipate their needs, not just match keywords,” said Tom Hamer, Marqo’s co-founder. “By automatically improving based on user interaction, Marqo provides highly relevant results, and increases customer conversion rate, order value, and revenue.”
Marqo’s mission is to democratize AI technology and make transformative search experiences more accessible. The startup is committed to open-sourcing its core Marqo code, making it freely available for anyone to use. Additionally, Marqo offers a fully managed, serverless Cloud Service optimized for production use without operational overheads. The continuous-learning vector search service is expected to launch later this year as part of Marqo Cloud.