Slash Raises $1.three Million For An iOS Keyboard And Cellular Search Engine
An organization capitalizing on the expansion of cellular messaging, and particularly the attain of Apple’s iMessage, Slash, has now raised $1.three million for its improvement of a search engine that’s tucked inside your keyboard. Launched simply a few months in the past, the Slash keyboard app allows you to share wealthy media, together with movies, GIFs, emoji, hyperlinks, merchandise, information articles, maps, music, and extra with out having to show to a separate software.
The app has now been put in by over one hundred,000 customers, the corporate claims, after having turn out to be a trending search on the iOS App Retailer and receiving a featured place on the highest of the brand new product finder web site, Product Hunt.
Buyers within the spherical embrace Betaworks, SocialStarts, Impress, Angel.co, and people similar to Giphy CEO Alex Chung, Wayne Chung, and Paul Sethi.
Based mostly in New York and based simply round a yr in the past, the app was dreamed up by CEO Cem Kozinoglu, who beforehand labored on quite a lot of search tasks at Microsoft, together with designer Bulent Shik, who has accomplished shopper work for a variety of excessive-profile corporations over the previous decade, together with Yahoo, EA, Ford, Time Warner Cable, SanDisk, Pepsi, Doritos, Ruffles, Bridgestone, and others.
Based on Kozinoglu, he has all the time been within the potential for search know-how, having began constructing search engines like google on the age of 9, and later rising as much as work on enterprise tasks for Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Lexis Nexis and extra.
Final yr, he determined he needed to construct a greater cellular search engine, as he personally doesn’t use the iPhone’s constructed-in options like Siri or Highlight search all that always.
“I used to be enthusiastic about one of the simplest ways to deliver search into all of our favourite apps and keyboards are the one piece of actual property in our cellular units that co-exists with all of our favourite apps,” says Kozinoglu. “All of us want a keyboard to write down an e-mail, as a lot as to textual content, message at Snapchat and higher but to look. ”
The co-founder ended up coding the complete backend to the Slash keyboard app consequently.
Nevertheless, in contrast to quite a lot of various keyboards for cellular units, like SwiftKey, Swype, and others targeted on providing simpler methods to insert GIFs into chat, or velocity up typing via predictive textual content enter, Slash doesn’t see itself as “a keyboard firm.”
Explains Kozinoglu, whereas the staff is presently constructing an ideal keyboard app for iOS units, the startup’s bigger objective is to create one of the best cellular search engine.
“Keyboard is simply the primary distribution channel,” the CEO says.
The app, which just lately rolled out an up to date model (ver. 2.zero), is among the higher alt keyboards I’ve used for iPhone. (I’ve a behavior of making an attempt then later disposing of most iOS keyboards because of some bizarre quirk or lacking function.)
Slash as an alternative has an interface that’s similar to the default, native expertise which makes the transition much less jarring, for starters. It then intelligently suggests gadgets so as to add to your dialog. For instance, once you sort sure key phrases in your dialog like “espresso” or “drinks,” Slash will give you the power to seek for espresso outlets or bars the place you may meet up with associates.
A “slash” button on the iOS keyboard, in the meantime, permits you to seek for content material so as to add throughout quite a lot of providers, like GIFs from Giphy, merchandise from Amazon, movies from YouTube, information articles from The NYT, stickers from imoji, songs from Spotify, Apple Music and extra, maps from Google Maps, eating places from Foursquare, and quite a lot of different assets.
You may also create your personal customized slashes, to assist prevent from having to sort the identical textual content time and again.
Nevertheless, the keyboard nonetheless has a couple of points, which make it troublesome for me to completely change over.
As an example, as soon as put in, it’s a bit of troublesome to rotate between your different keyboards – you must press and maintain on the emoji button, then transfer your finger as much as “Change Keyboards.” As a private choice, I’d slightly have a button to faucet to extra shortly rotate keyboards.
I perceive the design selection, right here, nevertheless – and, in time, I might see Slash diminishing the necessity to transfer out and in of different keyboard apps.
However for now, I nonetheless discover the necessity to swap over to my different GIF keyboard as a result of Slash doesn’t function a big sufficient assortment of GIFs in its app – it solely exhibits what’s trending on Giphy. That’s too restricted.
The corporate is collaborating in Techstars and says it’s going to look to boost further funds come demo day. Nevertheless, Slash is presently targeted on progress, not monetization, in the meanwhile.
The app is a free obtain on iTunes.