BLINKX - A START-UP SEARCH ENGINE CREATED BY A SRI LANKAN
by Tilak S. Fernando from London

The start up search engine created by Suranga Chandratilleke, a 26-year-old Sri Lankan computer science graduate from Cambridge University, has developed into a company co-founded with Kathy Rittweger, an American technology entrepreneur. The product, which will be launched via the American company, aims to elevate computer searches to a higher level.

Blinkx is very much similar to Google and Yahoo. It can search the Internet but its key feature and innovation is that it is able to access the users desktop for related documents and other sources of information stored locally.

Desktop research is the next stage in computer development and progress. Established giants in the business such as Google, Microsoft and Ask Jeeves are all working on their own individual projects for search engines.

Blinkx has out manoeuvred its more organised competitors in a path breaking innovation. Its search agent downloaded to a PC or Lap Top automatically searches sources of information and other data directly, which is related to the document or the website which the user has accessed.

As an example, if a user is reading an online news story about an entrepreneur's bid for an established company, Blinkx is capable of linking to that company's website, other news stories on the attempted bid and investment analysts' assessment and notes that the user may have stores in his desk top or in the e-mail folders. It can also access relevant video clips from BBC website and to " weblogs" on the person who is bidding for a company and on the prospect of the bid itself.

According to Kathy Rittweger, the Co-founder of this company with Chandratilleke, they have been approached with numerous offers of venture capital when news spread of the cutting edge technology which Blinkx has spawned. They have already received 5 million from private backers which will help to fund its initial development and marketing strategies.

Chandratilleke accepts and acknowledges the fact that Blinkx needs a more innovative approach and further development. So far Blinkx has indexed only 60 million web pages compared to 4.2 billion web pages, which can be accessed through the medium of Google. He maintains that Blinkx is not designed to compete with Google on keyword web searches but his aim is to establish its own sphere of operations.

For over a period of three years Chandratilleka was attached to a Cambridge software company, called Autonomy and it is this company, which has some of the back up core technology for Blinkx