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How two brothers have built a search engine to tackle fake news and internet privacy issues – 13TABS

Sagar and Varun Mishra wish to handle internet privacy issues and fake news with the help of 13TABS, a search engine for Indi
Sagar and Varun Mishra wish to handle internet privacy issues and fake news with the help of 13TABS, a search engine for India. Let’s uncover their startup story.

The world of the internet is a vast place where data from all around the world is stored and is available. There have been times when specific theories and proofs regarding the safety of a user’s data were raised. At times, certain documents were leaked that raise the privacy concerns all over the world; for example, Edward Snowden leaked some NSA documents that sent a wave of safety concern among the masses.

Over the years, various countries have moved to develop their search engines with guidelines to make things better for the users and provide them safety that is not offered by platforms like Google. In 2014, Julian Assange published the book “When Google Met Wikileaks,” which shed light on the motive behind the collection of user data. Soon series of confidential files were released that showed how information bubble works and how the US government used them to implement the foreign policy and destabilize the governments in Africa, Middle-East, and West Asia. This was a significant problem, and two brothers, Sagar and Varun Mishra decided to find a solution for this problem and came across with their startup, 13TABS.

The brothers turned business partners

Sagar Mishra
Sagar Mishra

Sagar Mishra is the co-founder and director of Trylika Technologies, and he did his engineering from SBCET, Jaipur, and lives in his hometown Dhanbad, the coal capital of India. Before his startup, he was the independent contractor for the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research and Project Agency), a US government defense research agency, and presented a few projects like Anti-Friendly Fire System to the research agency.

Varun Mishra
Varun Mishra

His partner in the venture is his brother, Varun Mishra, who has completed his B.Tech from SMVDU, Jammu. With more than five years of work experience in the IT industry, Varun has many research papers on communication technologies that are published with his name.

What is 13TABS?

13tabs website screenshot

The duo worked on building a search engine for India specifically and launched 13TABS. With the help of this product, they wish to handle internet privacy issues and fake news, which is the biggest threat to society, according to them. Often the search engines collect personal information of the users and produce a search result that is curated based on likes and dislikes.

13TABS is a platform that respects the privacy of the users, and it does not track or store the information, including the search history and click behavior. The platform also helps in filtering out the fake news and misinformation by providing a fact-checking tool to the users. It divides the search results into different categories even though the feature is not for public use yet.

Other companies also offer privacy enabled search solutions, and the companies partner with other providers like Google and Bing to get the search results. Still, they reveal the user information with their partners to get relevant search results. But 13TABS maintains its database, which means they index the web, making them independent from other search providers.

Partnerships and the first milestone

In conversation with TimesNext, Sagar talks about the collaboration that they had with a significant company for search advertisements. Still, after testing, they realized that it’d compromise the privacy of the users. A US-based company, Wolfram Research, showed interest in their startup and product, but Sagar believes that there is a lot of work that has to be done, and the company is not ready yet for such significant collaborations.

The first milestone for the company was when it launched the prototype. Since then, the platform has had over 100 significant updates since the prototype. The architecture of 13TABS is now stable, and it can host multiple petabytes of data without any glitch.

Current growth and vision for the company

In four years, users from 59 different countries have accessed their website for more than 3.5 million times. In 2019, they joined NASSCOM’s 10000 Startup incubation as they incorporated their company.

Their vision for the company is to make it the best platform for search engines and protect the integrity of society by protecting the user data. They look forward to decentralizing the search industry by providing cost-effective search solutions to private and government agencies.