Product search that puts you first
By Alex Gunnarson and Zach Hudson, cofounders
Today, the average shopper spends 15 hours across 12 websites over the course of 79 days for a single purchase online.
Simply put, online shopping is broken.
Imagine an ecommerce experience that prioritizes you, not sellers. An experience focused on helping you find the right product, without ads, SEO buzzwords, or irrelevant results. That’s the vision that we set out to build at Deft, and we’re excited to share for the first time how our vision is becoming a reality.
Deft is the fastest and most effective way to shop online. You can search, research, and find products all in one place – no ads and no clutter.
Today, we’re bringing Deft out of stealth and announcing our first funding round, backed by Hustle Fund, Frontier VC, VITALIZE, Long Ecommerce Ventures, 43 Ventures, LAUNCH, and over 15 founders and execs from industry leaders like Apple, Stripe, Affirm, and Honey.
The idea for Deft started back in 2019 when Alex (cofounder) was in the market for a gray, mid-century couch with wood trim on the bottom for under $800. It took him 30 hours to find it, scrolling through various sites and opening hundreds of tabs. He realized others had similar experiences, and started building something minimal to meet their needs.
Over the past three years, that prototype evolved into the Deft we see today.
Deft is different
Deft searches never rely on ads and can’t be manipulated by SEO tactics. This makes us different from Amazon or Google Shopping. We take out the clutter, build up product knowledge with AI and NLP, and unlock searches that simply weren’t possible before.
We believe there's a wealth of untapped information that today’s big search engines overlook. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a pet-friendly sectional. There’s data out there on which materials are durable and easy to clean. There are public reviews about the pet-friendliness of specific sectionals. Yet the product ranking systems on these search platforms are so broken — so driven by ad dollars and paid search — that you end up with results for slipcovers, rather than that pet-friendly sectional you’re really looking for. By contrast, for us each data point is a crucial piece of the puzzle in helping you make a decision.
Our approach changes the game for ecommerce AI and NLP. While other ecommerce platforms may simply plug in GPT to their existing search and call it a level-up, it only compounds the pain points of traditional ecommerce. You can't expect to shortcut your way to better search by adding an "intuition layer” on top of bad data. Instead, we’ve assembled our own knowledge graph and reasoning engine to harness the power of models like GPT while taming their pitfalls. We’ve also curated our index to remove the noisy data that makes online shopping so painful.
Our users have described us as “Google Shopping, but way better”, “Amazon without all the junk”, and “Honey, but for search.”
From the numbers, we’re on to something:
- Our conversion rate is over 5x the e-commerce average
- Our user base is growing 10% a week
- Our proprietary knowledge graph engine is 700x faster than RedisGraph (itself a state-of-the-art graph database which outperforms competitors by up to 15,000x on some benchmarks) for our queries
Our first round of capital
Along with our launch, we're pleased to announce our first round of funding, a $1.8M pre-seed round. We’re proud to have brought on board partners who share our vision for shopping and search. Early investor Jason Calacanis has said:
Product search has been broken and biased for far too long. We’re excited with Deft’s unbiased and user centric approach, and how they’re leveraging AI to delight frustrated customers.
As we build out our vision at Deft, we plan to bring our user-centric approach to the wider search landscape. Today, we're launching our search for home decor and furniture, but we’ll soon expand into apparel, electronics, and more. We’re parsing the web to create trustworthy search. Search built to truly understand, not just get the gist. Search built to generate accurate results, not just plausible nonsense. Deft is the search engine built for you.
Join us on our journey at shopdeft.com. See you there!