Search company, investor...
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Founded Year



Dead | Dead

Total Raised


About Cuil

Cuil (pronounced COOL) is a search engine that aims to combine the largest Web index with content-based relevance methods, organized results, and complete user privacy. The company believes its approach to search is the result of breakthroughs in search architecture and ranking algorithms. Cuil derives its name from an old Irish word for knowledge. The company was shuttered in September 2010. Google purchased some of the company's patents/intellectual property in February 2012.

Headquarters Location

66 Willow Place

Menlo Park, California, 94025,

United States


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Research containing Cuil

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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Cuil in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Oct 17, 2022.

Latest Cuil News

Google Buys Cuil Search Patent Applications

Feb 22, 2012

Google Buys Cuil Search Patent Applications       Google has acquired seven pending search user interface patents from defunct, erstwhile challenger Cuil. Google declined to say how it would appropriate the technology. Google(NASDAQ:GOOG) confirmed it has purchased seven search patent applications ofCuil, the failed search startup that set out to defeat the search engine giantwhen it was launched more than three years ago.Financialterms of the patent purchase were not disclosed. A Google spokesperson declinedto comment on the company's plans for the seven patents, which are pendingapproval by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patentdocuments, uncoveredby SEO By The Sea patent watcher BillSlawski in the USPTO assignment database, cover user interface technologyand formats for search. For example,one patent application is for a graphical user interface that includes tabsrepresentative of different classes of search results.The tabs arerendered in response to the processing of a query. Search results in this UIgroup content by meaning, "such that a query term with different meaningsproduces different classes of search results with different meanings,"according to the patent applications.Another of thepatent applications includes a GUI that sports a "scroll area" thatshows off search results along with a permanently displayed anchored area.Yet anotherpertains to a GUI that includes a document retrieved by processing a query.This GUI also hosts an advertisement, which could surface as text, an image oran icon, which is automatically generated based on the content in the document.As Slawskinoted, the patent applications are not what most people would have expectedGoogle to acquire from Cuil, which offered unique methods of indexing searchresults.Cuil wascreated by former Google employees Tom Costello  and his wife, AnnaPatterson, who left the company because they felt limited by the constraints ofits traditional link analysis and traffic ranking, which picks the 10 mostpopular links.Cuil'stechnology analyzed the context of each page and the concepts behind eachquery. It then organized any similar search results into groups and sorts themby category in three columns across the page in magazine-style fashion. Theresults included thumbnail images.Cuil'smarketing pitch was that it would dethrone Google by indexing three times asmany Web pages, including some 120 billion Web pages, compared with 40 billionon Google. Cuil also promised to afford users greater privacy than theincumbent by vowing not to collect IP addresses or search histories.Yet when theWebsite launched to great fanfare on July 28, 2008, it crashedrepeatedly as millions of people pinged the search engine to run queries onthe erstwhile Google-killer. Clashes amongCuil's executive team erupted and festered. Cuil shut down in September 2010,with Patterson returning to Google in a research capacity soon after.Little hadbeen heard of Cuil since, until Slawski's scoop.

Cuil Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Cuil founded?

    Cuil was founded in 2008.

  • Where is Cuil's headquarters?

    Cuil's headquarters is located at 66 Willow Place, Menlo Park.

  • What is Cuil's latest funding round?

    Cuil's latest funding round is Dead.

  • How much did Cuil raise?

    Cuil raised a total of $33M.

  • Who are the investors of Cuil?

    Investors of Cuil include Greylock Partners, Tugboat Ventures and Madrone Capital Partners.

  • Who are Cuil's competitors?

    Competitors of Cuil include Blekko and 1 more.

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Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a privately-held technology company building a computational knowledge engine (and not a search engine per the company). Wolfram Alpha generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links. As of October 2010, Wolfram Alpha does not have external investors. Wolfram Alpha is affiliated with Wolfram Research.

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