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Qwant (pronunciation: / kwɑ̃t /) is a French search engine. Put on line on February 16, 2013 in beta version, then in final version on July 4, 2013, it announces since its launch not to track its users, or sell their personal data, in order to guarantee their privacy, and wants to be neutral in the display of results.
The extension of the search engine for the Mozilla Firefox browser is part of the list of free software recommended by the French State as part of the overall modernization of its information systems, where it is mentioned that it is published under MIT / X111 license; however, the engine itself is not open source.
1.3 Evolution of services
1.5 Different versions
2 Characteristics and controversy
5.1 Qwant Junior
5.2 Qwant School
5.3 Qwant Music
5.4 Qwant Maps
5.5 Qwant Causes
5.6 Masq by Qwant
6 Future projects or services
6.1 Qwant Mail
6.2 Qwant Pay
6.3 Qwant Home
8 Financial data
9 Notes and references
10 See also
10.1 Related articles
10.2 External links
Qwant was founded in June 2011 in Nice by the investor Jean-Manuel Rozan, by Patrick Constant via his company Pertimm (which has developed other search engines for mass distribution and other commercial services) and by Éric Léandri. The name Qwant is, according to its creators, the combination of the letter Q of the word Quantities, which evokes the mass of data that the indexing robot traverses daily - it could also be the Q of Quantique - and the English word want, which means "want", or wanted which means "wanted". According to Éric Léandri, Qwant wants to be "Switzerland of the Internet" because of its lack of tracking of users.
The search engine was officially launched on February 16, 2013 in beta in 15 countries and in 35 languages, then in final version on July 4, 2013 in its French version after a year and a half of research and development.
The German publishing group Axel Springer acquired a 20% stake in June 2014 in order to develop the company worldwide and above all to compete with Google News.
Since June 2018, Qwant has included Tristan Nitot, former president and creator of the European branch of the Mozilla foundation11. On September 19, 2019, he takes the place of François Messager as CEO of Qwant
As of 2013, doubts are cast after an anonymous blogger discovered similarities between the results of Qwanturank and those of Bing (Microsoft's search engine); the creators of Qwant acknowledge that they use Bing's Programming Interfaces at first before switching to their own indexing, supplemented by other sources, and that they announce that they will start in February 2013 gradually and deny using Kurrently for the game "Social" of the engine for the benefit of its own system.
On April 14, 2015, Qwant unveils the second version of its search engine (whose graphical interface has been modified) and is put in the spotlight by the Minister of the Economy Emmanuel Macron, qualifying Qwant as "French Google in market ". In October, the European Investment Bank announced an investment of 25 million euros in the company in order to extend its offer in Europe. In May 2016, the site claimed 21 million visits with 50% of visits coming from requests from France and 30% from Germany.
On July 4, 2016, Qwant announced the signing of a global partnership with the American giant Mozilla Foundation. This partnership results in a new version of the Firefox browser, specially optimized for using Qwant. In addition to this version, a mobile application has also been available since August 2, 201619. On this occasion, Qwant declared that it wanted to achieve “5% to 8% market share on the continent by 2018-2019” and “achieve 2.5 million euros in turnover ”in 2016.
In January 2017, Qwant acquired an application for Android and iOS smartphones that integrates the Liberty browser allowing, like the search engine, to browse the Internet without being tracked and which stores the recorded information locally. This partnership was stopped a year later, following the discovery of cookies in the application. The Qwant application has been based on a fork of Mozilla Firefox since then, entirely open source unlike Liberty.
In February 2017, Qwant announced that it had raised 18.5 million euros, including 15 million from the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations which enters 20% of the capital, the rest coming from the Axel Springer group in order to maintain its capital. Qwant also announces that it wants to invest 300 million euros in marketing over the next five years in order to make itself known to the general public.
In March, according to La Lettre A, the investment bank Bpifrance refused to participate in the fundraising because of doubts relating to the technologies used by Qwant, in particular the use of technologies provided by Microsoft and servers at Huawei. Eric Léandri confirmed the use of results from Microsoft's search engine, Bing, in order to supplement the results generated by Qwant's algorithm, as well as the use of Bing's advertising management; he nevertheless denies that Bpifrance had access to Qwant's internal documents.
In April 2017, Qwant announced that it would acquire Nvidia brand supercomputers intended for deep learning in order to refine its research results and rent its calculators to startups needing to use these technologies.
In June 2017, a version adapted to the Swiss cultural and media context was launched and is available in three of the four national languages: German, French and Italian. In addition, Qwant announces that it will be integrated as a default search engine in the Fairphone 2 smartphone thanks to the signing of a partnership with Fairphone.
Countries where Qwant is available.
On November 10, 2017, Qwant bought Xilopix, a company based in Lorraine and publisher of the Xaphir search engine, which was in the grip of financial difficulties. At the same time, Qwant signs a partnership with Inria for research around Internet-friendly research technologies.
On November 29, 2017, Qwant signs a partnership with Fleksy which integrates the search engine into the Fleksy virtual keyboard.
In January 2018, Qwant announced its arrival in China by summer 2018, in partnership with local authorities and businesses in order to adapt it to local specificities.
In March 2018, Qwant Junior was transcribed into an application for Android and iOS. On March 28, 2018, Qwant suffered its biggest outage, due to the combination of several factors: constant increase in traffic (partly linked to the launch of the Qwant Junior application), infrastructure (built in-house) that could not keep up with the demand and "Cambridge Analytica effect".
Also in March 2018, Qwant becomes an official partner of the automobile rally the Tour de Corse and announces a world first, in partnership with the chain L'Équipe which is the broadcaster of the World Rally Championship in France, the live broadcast of the specials on his home page.
Regions having chosen Qwant as their search engine.
On July 4, 2018, a new, more refined version of Qwant was released, version four; the Qwant logo also changes with this new version.
On September 12, 2018, a partnership between Qwant and Lexibook was announced: it consisted in offering Qwant products (notably Qwant Junior) on LexiTab tablets.
On September 13, 2018, Qwant becomes the default search engine for the Brave browser in France and Germany.
On October 2, 2018, Qwant becomes the default search engine on all computers of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
On January 30, 2019, the aeronautical company Safran standardizes the use of Qwant as a search engine within the company.
On March 27, 2019, a partnership between Qwant and Wiko is announced. Wiko is launching a new version of its View 2 Pro but with Qwant as its search engine. This smartphone becomes the first Android phone not to use Google as a search engine. This was made possible in particular thanks to the decision of Margrethe Vestager to impose a fine of 4.34 billion euros on Google for abuse of dominant position on its Android system in July 2018.
On April 8, 2019, the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) decided to use Qwant as the default search engine for all of the employees of its 4 centers of excellence, including the launch site for the current one Ariane 5 and the future Ariane 6; the Guiana Space Center, Europe's spaceport.
On April 25, 2019 Qwant announces a partnership with the travel comparator Easyvoyage. This partnership initially consists of offering results for the search for flights at the end of May. Then, at the start of summer, results of the comparator for flights and hotels will be proposed.
In May 2019, Qwant announced that it would migrate its servers to an infrastructure based on Microsoft Azure, which its vice-president Tistant Nitot justifies by making Qwant "efficient and better quality as it receives more and more requests" and that they first "tried to work with other French and European players", but that Azure allows them "to do calculations using FPGA type and also supports Kubernetes, which is important for [them ] and is not yet sufficiently developed by other actors ”; however, Qwant will keep part of its indexing capacity on its own infrastructure so as not to be too dependent on the same supplier.
Evolution of services
In December 2014, Qwant announced the beta version of its search engine for young people, Qwant Junior, targeting 3 to 12 year olds, and its experimental launch in several French schools in January 2015, in partnership with National Education. On December 4, 2015, Qwant Junior was launched in final version.
On June 3, 2016, the beta version of the Qwant Music service was launched, making it possible to search for artists, albums and titles. In September 2017, Qwant Music was seconded as a subsidiary with headquarters in Ajaccio in Corsica.
New services were announced in 2016: Qwant Maps and Qwant Earth, initially for autumn 2016, which will offer search for routes without tracking and a partnership with the German company OpenX to integrate a webmail into the search engine.
In April 2018, Qwant is expected to launch an online messaging service, which will be followed during the year by Qwant Maps, announced two years ago, and Qwant Pay, an online payment service. Finally, a service called Masq, whose date of presentation has not been communicated, should allow Internet users to store their personal data linked to the browser on their PC or smartphone.
Two other engine variants, intended for games (Qwant Games) and science (Qwant Science), were announced in January 201847.
At the VivaTech fair in May 2018, Qwant announced the development of a search engine for the Internet of Things, in partnership with Kuzzle (Qwant loT), and also the development of tools that will protect private medical data, QwantMed.
On June 8, 2018, the final version of Qwant Music is launched. A partnership is signed with the music streaming and download service Qobuz, allowing, in France, full online listening in CD quality of the titles offered by the search engine.
On June 14, 2018, Qwant announces, during the inauguration of its new premises in Paris, that the Qwant Pay, Qwant Mail and Qwant Maps services will be released in September 2018; Qwant Sport was also mentioned.
At the end of August 2018, Qwant created a search engine for elected officials and territorial agents called Elunum. This engine is produced in cooperation with Internet Cities.
In November 2018, Qwant confirmed in an interview the reasons for postponing the release of the Qwant Mail project scheduled for September 2018: security breaches. The output is postponed sine die. The Qwant Maps service based on OpenStreetMap will be launched in the coming months.
On December 4, 2018, Qwant publishes Qwant Maps in alpha version.
During the MWC in Barcelona from February 25, 2019 to February 28, 2019, Qwant unveils Qwant Causes. The principle is the same as Lilo and Ecosia, it is a search engine which makes it possible to finance a project while carrying out research respecting the privacy of users.
Qwant Causes is launched on May 14, 2019 in partnership with HelloAsso which ensures the payment of donations.