29-Year-Old Nabbed $29 Million Because He Can See The Future


At the tender age of 29, Quixey cofounder Tomer Kagan is already an accomplished futurist.

That means that he envisions the future and works with scientists and others to make it come true.

He’s a board member of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (formerly the Singularity Institute) and works with the National Science Foundation’s futurist project (known as Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation or EFRI).

Business Insider recently talked with Kagan to find out his predictions. We thought they were pretty amazing.

Kagan sees these kinds of changes coming to our lives:

  • Traveling hospitals: As medical devices grow smaller, more powerful, able to tap into your personal medical history, “imagine an ambulance itself has a surgical center inside, miniaturized. A doctor comes to you, fixes you. We can actually take care of patients at the point of injury,” he says.
  • Restaurants (or other services) in self-driving cars. Once self-driving cars happen, “the way cars look and act will change. Do you really need to face forward?”  Instead, “imagine all sorts of new businesses opening up around the cars, what can happen while you are getting transported from point A to point B.” One example is restaurant cars where you get in, eat, then get dropped off.
  • Personalized and automated food. Robots of sorts (maybe even your car) can cook the food, too. Researchers are already working on automation technology for fast-food restaurants. A human loads the supplies, you order and the machine makes it.

Kagan’s work as a futurist led him to the idea for his startup, Quixey, a search engine for apps used by companies like Microsoft, Sprint, and Ask.com.

Before we can use all these new apps, we’ll need to find them. Quixey is focused on “functional search” he says. That means it can take “any request and find you the best app for that request.”

Fast forward 30 years and he sees his tech powering our lives. Everything from elevators to your oven will be operated by an app, a concept known as the Internet of Everything.

“It seems very sci-fi-ish, where you’re walking through the world interacting with millions of apps” maybe through a mobile device, a Google Glass or just by using gestures. “And as you walk by the world responds,” he says.

He’s certainly made believers out of some big names in the Valley. Quixey has raised $29 million to date from investors like super angel and interim Yahoo chairman Maynard Webb and Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s fund, Innovation Endeavors, among others.

He’s off to a notable start, too. Kagan says Quixey powers about 100 million app searches a month.