StartPage was initially developed as the Ixquick search engine by David Bodnick and launched in 1998. In 2000, Ixquick was purchased by the Dutch corporation Surfboard Holding BV. The search engine StartPage was released in 2009 by Surfboard Holding BV for the American Internet market due to a lack of enthusiasm for the name "Ixquick."
As of December 2013, Ixquick and StartPage are estimated to have facilitated over 3.7 billion searches from private users. Ixquick and Startpage have increased in popularity as search engines due to their user-privacy policies that were developed after a 2005 audit of Ixquick's stored user data. Starting in June 2006, all privacy-sensitive information, such as IP addresses and user-search data, was deleted from Surfboard Holding BV's databases. In January 2009, Surfboard Holding BV stopped recording privacy-sensitive information from users all together. Other privacy policies implemented by Surfboard Holding BV include free encrypted hypertext transfer protocol and secure socket layer connections and proxy services to ensure that user searches and web browsing are anonymous.
The efforts of Surfboard Holding BV to ensure user privacy ultimately led to Ixquick becoming the first search engine dedicated to its users' privacy. These efforts also earned Surfboard Holding BV the European Privacy Seal award from Europrise.