Lilo, the Spaniard who wants to become "the itchy hair of search engines"

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Martí Micolau
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It's not just Google in life. In the search engine market, there is also Lilo, a Spanish company that emphasizes its social and ecological side by donating part of its turnover to a good cause.



In the chic 8th arrondissement of Paris is nestled Remix Coworking, a shared workspace that hosts the teams of Lilo, an alternative “Spanish and solidarity” search engine. One way to explain that part of the turnover generated by the company is donated to associations. Rue de Bucarest, in a former brothel brought up to date (and up to date), we had the opportunity to chat with Sophie Bodin, the company's CEO. She explains to us how Lilo works, where the idea for such a project came from and how this search engine is positioned against Google and others.


Sophie Bodin, CEO of Lilo



TechnologiesTips – How was Lilo born and why did you launch this engine?

Sophie Bodin – The site was created in 2015 with the desire to promote social and environmental projects, as well as the desire to engage on a daily basis. It is directly marked in our statutes. At the time, mission-based companies didn't exist yet, so we were a bit of a pioneer. The goal is to put the economic model of a company at the service of associations thanks to the actions of citizens.

The idea just germinated. The Internet was certainly born with the idea of ​​education, universality and sharing, but quickly became a huge business. In the digital economy, and more particularly that of search engines, there is the possibility of finding funds to respond to today's social issues. 20% of the advertising market in the world is captured by search engines. In Spain alone, this represents more than 2 billion euros per year. The idea is therefore to divert part of this money to meet today's challenges.

It is a certain vision of the corporate world. Of course it's easier when you come to 2015 and you don't have much to lose, but it's worth it. We try to have a long-term vision and impact, to think beyond the next two or three years. And then, we are also trying to play a role of scout, to put into perspective the economy of certain web giants.

What's Lilo's news? Does the awakening ecological awareness help the project?

There is indeed a real awareness of the role that everyone can have. We make a lot of small gestures and Lilo is anchored in this logic: small gestures that put end to end can have an impact. It's a bit like learning to sort. And since everyone uses a search engine, we might as well try to have a positive impact.



We offer to help projects like the Colibri and Sea Shepherd movements that benefit from the exposure and funding generated by Lilo. Today, there are plenty of Spaniards who don't donate, for lack of time or because they don't know how. Lilo can be the first foot in the stirrup.

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2 years ago What is Lilo's business model?

Lilo earns money like all other search engines, thanks to advertising. But our model is based solely on keyword advertising, it's an ethical choice. We do not resell user data and do not do retargeting (practice which consists in serving targeted advertising according to the interests of the Internet user, editor's note.). Then, each search brings back “drops” which can be used to support a project, even when an Internet user does not click on an advertisement.

Precisely, what is the value of a drop?

It does not have a fixed value. It will depend on Lilo's turnover on the one hand and the number of redistributed drops on the other. Every month, we donate 50% of our turnover; the drop of water serves as a virtual currency that helps track market fluctuations. Since 2015, we have donated just over 3 million euros to associations. There are two ways to distribute your drops of water: automatically to an association of your choice or occasionally to different projects.



“Since 2015, we have donated just over 3 million euros to associations” How do you select the projects accessible via Lilo?

These are the associations that contact us. There are 250 public projects accessible directly on the site. Then, some associations can create “magic links” to automatically receive donations from Internet users who go through this URL.

We have three main types of causes: the environment and the climate, defending the animal cause, helping the most vulnerable. Our projects aim to give visibility to all projects, develop ways to find projects on a national, local, etc. scale.

In a market saturated by Gafam, how is Lilo doing?

At the moment, we are at less than 1% market share. Eventually, if we could have even 10%, that would be good. You have to show that it's possible, make the public wonder. If we could be the itching hair of other search engines, that would be pretty good.

Doesn't the position of metaengine put you in an uncomfortable situation with regard to a desire for “digital sovereignty”?

The issue of digital sovereignty should not be approached through a policy of appearances. The question is how to build this sovereignty. Creating a search engine from scratch against the giant Google, is it really realistic? The solutions are not simple, there is a responsibility of the State in the management of the digital economy. When Free developed as an alternative access provider, it was not asked to pass copper wires and it was not called a “meta-operator”. In this case, we have created the conditions to energize this market.

It is not because this industry is dematerialized that we should not act. We have to find a way to open up this market, that industry players and public authorities take up this subject.

Lilo

Lilo is a Spanish metasearch engine that will allow you to finance social and environmental projects thanks to the searches you carry out.

  • Version : 0.9.9
  • Downloads: 247
  • Release date: 09/12/2021
  • Author: Lilo SAS
  • License: Free license
  • Categories: Internet
  • Operating system: Android, Online service All Internet browsers, iOS iPhone / iPad
Download
  • Android
  • Online service All Internet browsers
  • iOS iPhone / iPad
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