Import.io, whose technology enables businesses to convert websites into usable data, has nabbed a $13 million Series A round of funding.
The company is riding the wave of Big Data analytics demand, targeting the vast amount of data housed within informational and service Websites, among others.
In an example of how it works, Import.io recently helped the San Francisco Chronicle determine the impact of services like Airbnb, Homeaway and Flipkey on the real-estate market in that city. The journalist working on the piece wanted data (price, region, landlord’s name, number of bedrooms etc.) on all the rentals in San Francisco from Flipkey and Homeaway.
Import.io was able to build an API that extracted the links for each house’s “profile page” on those sites, and then another API to get the actual data out of the profile pages, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property types and rental rates. From there, it was able to dedupe properties across websites and begin combing the data for insights into the rental market.
It was able to determine that:
And, because the analysis was done using APIs, it’s possible re-extract the data at any time for comparative analysis on seasonal changes and the like.
"The Web contains a wealth of business data and intelligence that can be used to inform decision-making -- and gain competitive advantage -- but most of that data is locked in an unusable format," said David White (News - Alert), founder and CEO at Import.io. “Websites are designed for human consumption: like reading pages or watching videos, not for computer-driven data analysis. Our vision is to create technology that makes it easy for businesses to translate the Web into data that they can actually use.”
The new funding comes after a year of growth for the company: in 2015, users of Import.io created more than one million Web APIs and extracted data from over 5.5 billion Web pages. The company will use the funds to further develop its data extraction technology and expand its ecosystem of analytics and visualization partners.
"This new round of funding represents the biggest investment ever in Web data extraction, and we are thrilled to partner with investors who think just as boldly and creatively as we do about delivering on our vision,” White said.
The new investment was led by Imperial Innovations, with participation from Wellington Partners, Oxford Capital, Open Ocean, Delin Capital and AME Cloud Ventures. Gary Read, formerly president and CEO at Boundary and Nimsoft (News - Alert), will join the board of directors as chairman; also joining the board are Martyn Holman of Oxford Capital; Mario Branciforti of Imperial Innovations; and Jonathan Hay of Delin Capital.
Import.io previously raised $4.5 million in seed and angel funding, bringing the total raised to date to $17.5 million.
"Import.io has developed a completely new way of extracting, processing, and delivering Web data, solving an increasingly urgent need for data-driven businesses around the world," said David Axmark, founder of MySQL and an angel investor in Import.io. "They are uniquely positioned to be the preferred provider of valuable Web intelligence for companies large and small."