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.
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.