instantsearch.js is an open source project developed and maintained by Algolia on GitHub and released under MIT license. Our mission has always been to help developers implement great search experiences in no time. We started by focusing our efforts on the speed and relevance of the search engine itself, and we quickly discovered that querying the engine from the frontend was important–end users crave Google-and-Amazon-like experiences: fast and relevant search results pages that don’t require page reloads.
We dedicated all our energy to developing a product that could be used directly from the frontend, without compromising on required security features. For example, secured API Keys allow us to replicate on the frontend all the restriction enforcements we take for granted on the backend. Unfortunately, we also discovered that implementing the UI itself is complex and time-consuming because of tricky issues such as handling refinement states, updating the URL, etc…
We started developing instantsearch.js in early 2015. Our initial idea was inspired by Stripe Checkout, a great payment UI/UX packaged as a JS library that anyone can easily use. The main difference between Stripe Checkout and instantsearch.js is that it is close to impossible to package all search use-cases in one monolithic script. This is why we chose a different approach—a UI library containing different widgets that you can assemble and customize to build great search experiences.
Founded in 2012, Algolia is a privately held company created by developers, veterans in the fields of algorithms, search engines, and text mining. We develop a search-as-a-service API to help developers deliver an intuitive search-as-you-type experience in their applications and websites.
We enable super fast and relevant search experiences in no time with our worldwide infrastructure deployed in 14 different regions (28 different datacenters). In one click, you can distribute your search on several regions with our Distributed Search Network infrastructure.
Algolia is backed by international VC funds: Y Combinator (W14), Accel Partners, Storm ventures, Index Ventures, Alven Capital, 500 startups and Point Nine Capital.