Database software provider Snowflake has been in advanced talks to acquire Neeva, a search startup founded by former top Google ad tech executive Sridhar Ramaswamy, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions. Buying Neeva could help Snowflake offer artificial intelligence software that helps companies search for information in internal documents and data, according to people who do business with Snowflake.
Neeva primarily sells an ad-free web-search app for consumers, but it developed software that combines search with large-language models, which are trained on text to understand the nuances of speech and writing. That could fit with Snowflake’s efforts to help cloud customers use the kind of AI popularized by chatbots like ChatGPT that respond to conversational commands and can automate some business tasks. Snowflake is trying to catch up to rivals such as Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud that already sell access to such AI software. (Update: Snowflake signed a letter of intent to acquire Neeva, The Information reported May 18.)