How many times did you find yourself scrolling to the 2nd and 3rd result pages on a search engine, because most of the results were irrelevant to what you were looking for? If your answer is “often”, you’re not alone. To help you find the relevant results from only the sites that you care about, Israeli startup Joongel came up with an interesting way of cutting through the clutter jungle.
Joongel, still in stealth, recently released a teaser in the form of two browser plugins (compatible for firefox and IE), with the goal of simplifying search for users. The plugins install an on-screen toolbar, that turns to be a major time saver – enabling search on multiple sites, using a single query in a single window.
I’ve tried out a custom made version of the toolbar for VC Cafe and I was able to quickly scan my favorite blogs and venture capital sites for Israeli related news, without the usual pains accompanied with that. The plugins are publicly available in two flavors: Social Media and Reference.
VC Cafe’s custom made Joongel toolbar (click to enlarge):
Joongel’s homepage (click to enlarge):
To learn more about Joongel’s recent release and its future plans, I conducted a short Q&A with co-founder Dror Ceder . Below is the transcript:
VC Cafe: What is the need that Joongel is trying to solve?
Dror: The Internet is becoming increasingly crowded. There are too many video-sharing websites, shopping platforms, Internet travel agencies, news sites, blogs and there are definitely too many social networks. As the Internet grows, it is becoming extremely difficult to quickly find quality information hidden in the main content websites.
Everyday, new websites are being created. It becomes extremely hard to know which websites have authority in their field and how we can best utilize the information that they provide. There is simply no one to guide us.
VC Cafe: How did you tackle the problem?
Dror: Joongel is a simple solution for finding information on the Internet by focusing on a small amount of leading websites that account for the bigger majority of Internet traffic.
VC Cafe: Who do you envision as your primary users?
We define two types of users :
1) Home users that lack Internet experience and knowledge.
2) Online user that seek information & guidance in specific key verticals.
VC Cafe: Tell me a bit about the team and the development process. What were the main challenges?
A year ago we started developing the concept of Joongel after conducting an intensive research about online user behavior in the USA and the UK. After a while we formed a strong team that consist of four people:
two founders, a CTO with over 15 years of experience of web development and talented Interface designer.
Since we began working on Joongel we encountered challenges in arranging a work environment at minimum costs, raising seed funding from friends and family, sleeping 4 hour a night and maintaining some sort of social life.
In October 2007 we launched a private alpha version of the product in order to test parts of the concept on an American crowd. Since then we have been modifying the product towards our public beta launch in the following months.
VC Cafe: You mentioned that your technology in the back-end is one of the strengths of your system. What’s so special about it?
Dror: We developed a dynamic back-end system that can support a wide variety of products, in different languages and countries. The main advantage of the system is that today we can create new features in just a few minutes, instead of days or weeks.
VC Cafe: Are you looking to raise money? If so, What are your next milestones?
Dror: In the past year we raised an initial sum of 30K. currently, we are seeking to raise funds on a bigger scale in order to hire more people and allocate more resources into marketing. our next milestone is the launch of the public beta in the USA and after a few months in the UK.
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