Hybrid Subscription Search Engine Launches With “Single-Digital Million” Funding

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Congoo, a search engine mixing premium content and open online content, had launched with “single-digit million” funding, from private investors including Peter Graff, Steven Richmond, and Empire Capital Partners.

It will be a tough sell for the company, as it requires a toolbar download for use, rather than online. The toolbar is currently available only for IE, and a version for Mozilla’s Firefox should be out soon, the company says. The standard search results are provided by Yahoo. Congoo makes its money from contextual ads running down the right side of the page.

The Congoo NetPass toolbar promises limited access to the web archives of business resources such as the FT and PRNewswire, as well as many trade publications and regional newspapers, and reference works such as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The founder is Ash Nashed, who previously served as CEO of Choice Media, a health resource and advertising network that was bought out by Polaris Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and the Carlyle Group last year.

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