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‘I’m better than Google’: Gordon’s taking on Silicon Valley giants… from Kirkcaldy

Gordon Povey is taking on the Silicon Valley giants...from Kirkcaldy.
Gordon Povey is taking on the Silicon Valley giants...from Kirkcaldy.

Not many people would aim to take on internet giants Google, but that is the ambition of one Fife man.

Frustrated with current internet search engines, Gordon Povey has set up his own, and he believes it can rival Google.

His site, Better Internet Search, is free of advertising.

It has all the main features you would expect including web and news searches, image searches and video searches.

Plans to disrupt search engine market

The former Edinburgh University academic decided to launch Better Internet Search after becoming frustrated with the current model of search engines.

Mr Povey, who describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” said he was frustrated with the current search engine offerings.

He said: “This isn’t really the way to run the internet.

“You need to build something that fundamentally is better.

“We knew we could build a better search engine but we couldn’t use the ad model.

How a search for The Courier appears on Better Internet Search.

“I don’t think subscription models are going to have a big impact on the market but we figured a way to do it through our alternative monetisation model.”

Mr Povey hopes his idea will “disrupt the market”.

Why has he decided to take on Google? The Kirkcaldy man puts it down to “an itch” to do “something bigger” before he retires.

He has set his sights high.

“I’ve been involved in companies with seven and eight-figure exits in the past, so I want to go one bigger before it is time to put the feet up,” he said.

First funding for Better Internet Search

The firm has been successful in pre-seed funding which will allow it to expand.

Mr Povey was unable to disclose how much the funding is for, but said it is a major boost for the business.

He said: “It’s the first equity investment and sets us on our path. It shows people want to support what we’re doing.

“A lot of people didn’t believe our vision when we started the company.

Gordon Povey is a former Edinburgh University academic who has set up an alternative to Google.

“A lot of our users don’t believe we can be as good as Google. They have been quite surprised and some have decided to invest in the company. It is an endorsement.”

Mr Povey, 58, acknowledged that many people will raise eyebrows at his aim to take on Google.

He believes that this funding shows people believe in his product.

“We have to overcome the scepticism. It works well and people are starting to see that,” he said.

Making inroads in sustainable shopping

Mr Povey said the money would be used to develop sustainable shopping through the search engine.

Using new technology, users will be given an idea of the carbon footprint of a specific purchase.

Mr Povey hopes to achieve funding of as much as £500,000 next year.

“We are really interested in the shopping side of things,” the founder of Better Internet Search said.

“A lot of users are keen on shopping sustainably.

“What you can’t get is a measure of how ethical the product is through searching online.

“We are working on technology to give a carbon footprint on each product you search for. That will show its environmental impact before you buy the product.”

More funding planned

Mr Povey aims to obtain more funding in the next 12 months.

A seed funding round will, he hopes, generate up to £500,000 for the firm, while getting the right backers is also an important consideration.

“We do hope to complete a seed funding round either very late in the year or into 2022.

“It will be well into six figures – £300,000 to £500,000 – but it is not all about the money.

“It is about getting the right backers as well. We really need investors who believe in the vision – it is not about a quick buck.

“We are trying to disrupt the market and that can take a few years.”

Better Internet Search founder and chief executive Gordon Povey.

He also explained that the current title will change, with a fully branded product launching after the next funding round.

“Better Internet Search is the company name and the intent of what we’re trying to do,” he said.

“It’s not a branded product yet. We’re not going to do that until we’ve got everything absolutely right.

“We’ll use seed funding to push hard and see if we can make a real dent in the market.”

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