Deft, an AI-powered search engine startup for e-commerce, has emerged from stealth with a $1.8 million funding round.
Founded in 2019, Deft began life after cofounder Alex Gunnarson struggled to find a specific couch online, having been bombarded with ads and irrelevant SEO. The startup wants to eliminate the often painstaking process of shopping online by offering a search engine powered by natural language processing to remove clutter for users.
“Google and Amazon continue to push the most relevant searches down so they can make more money and marketers have figured out how to bump up results using SEO,” Zach Hudson, Deft cofounder and CEO, told Insider. “The intrinsic value of what we're building is that it's built for you, not marketers and branders to sell you stuff.”
The rise of AI following the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT 3 last year led to increased pressure to launch for Deft, Hudson added. The company's proprietary tech combines knowledge graphs and large language models and claims to make search 700 times faster, something that excited investors, Hudson said.
Deft is emerging from stealth with its product after raising $1.8 million in funding at the beginning of 2022. The company's funding round comes from Hustle Fund, Frontier VC, Vitalize, Long Ecommerce Ventures, 43 Ventures, Launch, and angel investor Jason Calacanis alongside a variety of founders.
“I've been around some of the best innovations in the e-commerce industry in recent years, but none have tried to fix the problems that frustrate consumers the most – being able to find products they actually want to buy,” early investor Jason Calacanis said.
The capital will go towards expanding the company's team with engineers to keep up with the growth of the platform.
Check out Deft's 14-slide pitch deck below: