Sivi, a virtual personal assistant, launched today. Its founder calls it the only search engine and task completion service you’ll ever need.
You can request anything you need, from finding and reserving a reservation at the Apple Genius Bar to researching the best way to clean a mattress. Sivi’s “concierges”—online workers based in the U.S.—will get back to you within a matter of minutes.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
Sivi isn’t the first to try the human-powered search concept.
There’s Mahalo.com, which started off as a human-powered search engine that used real people to sift through search results to provide the best content. But it has since pivoted to focus more on online courses.
And then there’s ChaCha, the free real-time answers service.
In some sense, Sivi is also similar to personal-assistant services like Fancy Hands.
But Sivi founder Nicholas Seet, a guy who sold a video-advertising startup, Auditude, to Adobe for $120 million last year, thinks there’s a gap in the market that Sivi can fill.
“The big picture that is truly exciting is, imagine if you could ask your phone for anything, to search for anything, and to do anything, then who needs Google anymore?” Seet sats. “And that concept that I have now displaced the search engine because I don’t need to search for places to go. I can ask my phone to find them or do them, or make reservations and I don’t need to have 10 blue links to waive through.”
With Sivi, you just get one correct answer, and that’s the big picture Seet is going for with Sivi.
But here’s the caveat: Those workers don’t work for free. Sivi costs $5 per request right now. Seet hopes to waive that fee as the company grows.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.