HeyStaks, a startup that helps users collaborate while searching the web, has raised $1.4 million in a funding round. HeyStaks users install a toolbar and can then organize the pages they search for on any search engine into groups by topic, which they share with friends. The service is currently in closed beta but is expected to launch to the public in November.
The major search engines have experimented with their own collaboration features with limited success. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), for instance, unveiled a research project two years ago, which let users re-rank and annotate search results and share the new results with friends, although the project was never integrated into Bing. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) also lets users take notes while they search and share them with friends.
HayStaks was co-founded by Barry Smyth, who also co-founded mobile firm Changing Worlds, which was sold to Amdocs for $60 million two years ago. The company is led by Jonathan Dillon, who was a VP of corporate development at Yahoo for nearly six years until he left in February 2009. The cash comes from Irish VC firm NCB Ventures.