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Search Engine Blekko Hauls in $15M Russian Investment

Russia's biggest search engine, Yandex, has invested US$15 million in U.S. search startup Blekko, as part of $30 million funding round.

The Russian search engine acquired a minority interest in Blekko and CEO Arkady Volozh will join the board of directors. Yandex is Russia's leading search engine and most visited website.

The other $15 million in the round came from Australian investor MLC Private Equity and CMEA Capital, PivotNorth Capital and US Venture partners.

Yandex invested in Blekko because the company is interested in its search algorithms. "We love Blekko and think it's a great product – a quality search engine that organically combines search algorithms with expert opinions. We believe the outlook for this approach is strong and that the Blekko team is poised to make it a success," Volozh said.

Blekko was founded in 2007 and its search engine was launched in November 2010. Blekko lets users create their own search engine that provides results about a specific topic. This so-called vertical search engine aims to do that by drilling down into Web content using what the company calls "slashtags" -- subject-specific search terms that are put at the end of searches preceded by a slash "/". Using this system Blekko wants to cut out spam sites and help searchers find what they are looking for faster.

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