Should DuckDuckGo File Its IPO to Better Challenge Google Inc.?

Amid concerns that Google Inc. is too big to ever be disrupted, a rebel search engine emerges. Here's why an IPO might make sense.

May 29, 2014 at 10:30AM

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) competitor DuckDuckGo is beginning to look like a potential IPO candidate, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

For those that don't know DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine built on the premise that user data needn't be tracked in order to deliver comprehensive, relevant search results quickly. Millions identify with the pitch. According to its website, DuckDuckGo handles triple the number of direct queries today as it did a year ago -- more than 5 million daily. Google processes far more, of course, and Bing is also a significant competitor thanks to Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) backing. That DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly in the shadow of deep-pocketed rivals speaks to its advantages.

And while we aren't privy to financial data for privately held DuckDuckGo, it's fair to presume revenue is also soaring. Why? DuckDuckGo sells sponsored links to appear alongside search data. Rising traffic should also produce rising revenue, which, in turn, should help grow the underlying platform. Exactly the sort of virtuous cycle investors should want to see from an IPO candidate.

Yet the story doesn't end there. DuckDuckGo is also opening its platform to new code and human-supplied answers to queries via a program called DuckDuckHack. The company's passionate and fast-growing community of users can help to extend the platform in ways the DuckDuckGo team -- or, for that matter, Google or Microsoft -- have yet to imagine.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you use DuckDuckGo? If so, do you believe it possesses a defensible advantage over Google? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or hold Google stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C class) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Google (A and C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A and C class) and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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