Snowflake deal close as Neva closes search and turns to entrepreneurial LLMs

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A deal for Snowflake to acquire Neeva appears imminent after the Mountain View-based search startup, once seen as a promising AI-based challenger to Google’s search supremacy, announced on Saturday , which will shut down its consumer search product to focus on. On business use cases and search for LLMs.

Neva’s announcement comes just days after The Information reported that Montana-based Snowflake had signed a letter of intent to acquire Neeva to offer AI software services to enterprise customers. Snowflake shares jumped on the news, especially ahead of Snowflake’s planned quarterly earnings this Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Snowflake declined to comment, while representatives for Neva did not respond to a request from VentureBeat.

Neeva explores enterprise LLM use cases

Neeva was co-founded in 2019 by former senior Google ad tech executives, including former Google SVP of advertising and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy. More recently, Nieva touted the ability to cite sources for its AI-powered search engine.


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In a blog post announcing the shutdown of the consumer search product, Ramaswamy and co-founder Vivek Raghunathan said: “Over the past year, we have seen a clear, urgent need to use LLMs effectively, cheaply, safely and responsibly. Many of the techniques we’ve built with small models, reduced size, reduced latency, and low-cost deployment are elements that businesses really want and need today. We are actively exploring how we can apply our search and LLM expertise to these settings and will provide updates on our work and the future of our team over the next few weeks.”

Many AI companies focus on the enterprise

Many technology leaders are looking to the valuable opportunities of enterprise LLMs. OpenAI has talked about its work to offer adaptations for enterprises, while Anthropic recently partnered with Scale AI to “bring generative AI to enterprises.” Stability AI has said it wants to build custom models for large companies and governments, while Cohere’s LLMs are entirely enterprise-oriented.

Experts, including EY’s global chief technology officer Nicola Morini Bianzino, have said for months that the “killer use case” for generative AI could be enterprise knowledge management.

“Knowledge companies tend to store knowledge in a very flat, two-dimensional way, which makes it difficult to access, interact with, and dialogue with,” he told VentureBeat in January. “We tried to create expert systems 20, 30, 40 years ago. It didn’t work out too well because they were too stiff. I think this technology promises to overcome many problems that expert systems have.”

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