UPDATED 13:14 EDT / NOVEMBER 09 2017

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Open-source search provider Elastic acquires Swiftype to grow its reach

Practically every modern website and online service offers some sort of search function to help users find their way around. Elasticsearch BV, which does business as Elastic, has acquired Y Combinator graduate Swiftype Inc. in a deal announced today to target the vast market.

Swiftype offers cloud-based tools that enable companies to make their content more easily explorable. The startup is best known for its Site Search product, which has been adopted by over 900 brands including AT&T Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and other big names.

The service has two main distinguishing features. The first is a streamlined search interface that can mesh well with an online service’s existing layout and sports a variety of usability features. Filters enable users to narrow down what they’re looking for, while so-called Engagement Modules let companies display promoted content such as shopping recommendations next to the results.

Swiftype’s other big selling point is customizability. According to the startup, a backend analytics dashboard lets companies see how users interact with their information and tailor the order in which search results show up accordingly to maximize relevance. Swiftype also offers a product called Enterprise Search that promises to provide a similarly streamlined experience for workers trying to dig through internal business records.

It just so happens that Swiftype’s technology is based upon Elasticsearch, the open-source search engine on which Elastic has built its business. The project’s other adopters include Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc. and the CERN particle physics lab to name a few.

Elastic has big plans for Swiftype. According to a blog post, the company intends to develop an on-premise version of Enterprise Search and add integrations with several of its products.

Among them is Elastic’s X-Pack suite, which earlier this year received new machine learning features. The bundle also includes a graph tool that can be used to identify connections between disparate pieces of information. Elastic could potentially integrate this capability into Swiftype’s platform to help companies make better sense of their vast data troves.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Image: Swiftype

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