For most people, mobile phones have become the primary communication tool and access point to the web. Google democratized access to information through search, but we have yet to see a similar evolution on mobile devices. Mobile users are limited to web page based searching through a specific app such as Chrome or Safari. Apple’s deep linking is promising but still in early stage development.
Slash is building tools to enhance mobile search, providing access to data from a wide range of applications. Slash’s first product is the Slash Keyboard, a mobile keyboard that allows users to access information anywhere, anytime without switching between apps.
Cem Kozinoglu, the company’s founder, is no newbie to search. He started coding around nine and, at 13, built one of the only search engines in Turkey. After graduating from UMass-Amherst with a degree in computer science, Kozinoglu worked for several years at Fast Search and Transfer, an enterprise search company that was acquired by Microsoft in 2008, working with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Unicef, LexisNexis, Disney, and Reuters. He also co-founded the event management app Boomset.
Slash launched the iOS version of its keyboard in September 2015 with a feature from The Next Web and Wired, and was accepted into the Techstars NYC Fall 2015 class. Slash Keyboard was an immediate hit, proclaimed as a “Best App” or “Best Keyboard” by Mashable, Business Insider, and Cult of Mac. Slash Keyboard also won the Product Hunt Golden Kitty award for Product of the Year, and quickly racked up over 100,000 downloads.
Giphy is another of more than 20 applications currently integrated into the Slash Keyboard, giving users quick access to a massive library of GIF reactions and emotions. Giphy recently announced $55M in new funding.
Slash is one of many mobile-focused companies in Galvanize Venture’s portfolio, aligning with consumer attention towards mobile. In December 2015, Galvanize Ventures invested in Slash’s $2.2 million seed preferred stock round alongside Betaworks, Socialstarts, Collab+Line, Giphy and experienced angels.
Slash recently launched its Android keyboard, alongside support for multiple languages, and is already seeing over 5 million searches per month. The team is exploring other mediums to deliver the search experience, as well as opening up an API to developers who want to add their service to the growing list of Slash integrations.
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