SoftwareStartups

Apifier is a web scraper for developers

By 14 March 2017 No Comments

So you’re planning to open up an online shop. Great idea, right? The only thing left to do is to make a market research and examine the prices of your competition. You can spend the next few days copying and pasting numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. Or you can use Apifier – a cloud service that enables you to do the same in a matter of seconds.

It is surprising how many people need such an API – from students, through startups, to large enterprises. The tools built on Apifier so far include price comparison websites, flight booking apps, or even personal weather notifications. The most important feature of Apifier, though, is that it can be programmed with JavaScript. It enables the customers to scrape data from even the most unusual websites. To top it off, Apifier offers consulting services for customers with no programming background.

There is a substantial competition on the market, including consulting companies, UI-based tools, or tools for app building, but Apifier team is not afraid of them. “Unlike these companies, we’re trying to build a product primarily for developers, so that anyone with elementary coding skills can set up a crawler for a reasonable cost,” explains Jan Čurn, one of the co-founders.

Čurn, who holds a PhD in artificial intelligence, used to build software for various companies including Oracle and co-founded VirtualRig Studio, a computer graphics software company. Together with Jakub Balada, an economist specializing in agile and scrum methods, he founded a small software contracting company Dev Tank. In 2015, they applied to Y Combinator Fellowship – a program for people who want to found a startup but have no time to spare. In order to maximize their chances, they flew all the way from the Czech Republic to California for a 10-minute interview. Their dedication paid off – they were able to spend two full months in Silicon Valley, developing their product.

Apifier came to life during the Y Combinator program. Since then, the founders concentrate on maintaining a 4% weekly growth. At the moment Apifier has over 1 thousand monthly active users and dozens of customers who use the paid subscription programs.

In November 2016, Apifier received $250k seed funding from INCOMMING ventures and Spread Capital for a 20% share. Currently, their main focus is to improve the Apifier system, making it not only a data extractor, but also a creator of tools that would perform complex interactions like filling out forms or submitting orders. The team also plans to create a community around their product, for example allowing people to share the tools they built.

Author Bogna Haponiuk

Engineer by education, writer by passion, creative spirit by nature, innovation enthusiast by choice.

More posts by Bogna Haponiuk

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