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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Neeva, a search engine startup led by former Google Ads boss Sridhar Ramaswamy, raised $40 million in Series B funding co-led by Sequoia Capital and Greylock.

Why it matters: Venture capitalists often ask founders, "Why wouldn't Google just build that and crush you?" In this case, the founder is driving straight into Google's core business.

Details: Neeva is currently in beta with several thousand users, and ultimately plans to unveil an ad-free, personalized search experience. Expect it to be on a paid subscription basis, likely with a free trial period.

History: Google itself only raised $35 million in total VC funding before going public in 2004, including from Sequoia Capital. Ramaswamy tells Axios that today's search challenges are much more daunting, given user expectations around scale and local.

The bottom line:

"I don't feel any animus toward Google or the folks I worked with. They are wonderful people. But I think it's fine for people to change their mind about important topics [like data privacy], and search being a monoculture is a terrible outcome for all of us ... Apps are important, but search is the gateway."
— Sridhar Ramaswamy, CEO of Neeva and a Greylock venture partner

Go deeper

20 mins ago - World

G7 leaders agree to call out China's “nonmarket policies and human rights abuses"

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at Cornwall Airport Newquay to give a press conference on the final day of the G7 summit on June 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images

Group of Seven leaders on Sunday announced they have agreed work together to challenge China’s “non-market economic practices” and to press Beijing to respect human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Why it matters: President Biden went into the summit hoping to present a united front against Beijing.

Study: Key Antarctic ice shelf is speeding up its collapse

Pine Island Glacier calves several new icebergs on Feb. 11, 2020, as seen via satellite. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

The Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is responsible for more than a quarter of Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise over the past decades. Now, a new study shows it is more vulnerable to rapid melting than thought, because climate change is weakening its natural braking system.

Why it matters: At stake is the future of a glacier containing about 160 trillion tons of ice, which if it were all to melt into the ocean would cause about 1.6 feet of global sea level rise.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are taking power back

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American workers have been losing power since 1980 — but now the tables are turning.

Why it matters: The 2010s gave us the gig economy and left millions of workers stranded seemingly forever on the precipice of financial ruin. The 2020s could be the decade when workers seize back the reins of power.