Diffbot, based in Palo Alto, CA is a young company and a promising new form of visual learning robot technology targeted at Web developers. With a fresh, $2 million injection of capital, Diffbot is poised to revolutionize the way we use the Web, from online publishing to medical training.
With broad business potential it?s no surprise that Diffbot earned the financial endorsement of a number of big names in the tech industry, including EarthLink founder Sky Datyon; Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems; Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Lab; Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of YouSendit, and other top executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo as well as participation from Matrix Partners.
Diffbot is a robot capable of viewing and understanding Web content the same way humans do. Via computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing Diffbot can visually analyze layout?including tracking website changes?understand and extract content on any page and in any language, and generate related images, videos and cross-referenced tags.
The company debuted its first APIs last August:
Developers can then use Diffbot?s information to re-imagine search, mobile Web and hundreds of other consumer applications. Going forward, Diffbot plans train its bots to recognize all other types of pages, including product pages, social networking profiles, recipe pages, review pages, and more.
AOL uses Diffbot to extract the title, author, image, text, videos, topics and other metadata for its new iPad mag, AOL Editions. Nuance uses the technology to improve its natural language processing in a product for doctors, which requires comprehension of complex medical terminology.SocMetrics sends bit.ly shortened links to Diffbot to get the full article text and topics, so it can determine which social media users are talking about which topics the most.
It can scan URLs that a customer sends them or it can monitor a URL for a customer and alert them to changes, something founder and CEO Michael Tung says many clients are using to keep an eye on their competition. The company works on a freemium model, with the first 10,000 API calls per month being free and tiered pricing after that. “Right now we are processing over 100 million API calls per month,” said Tung.
Tung is an MIT grad, patent attorney and Stanford PhD student who left the doctoral program to pursue Diffbot thanks to early funding from Stanford?s first StartX investment. Tung says the new funding will be put towards new hires and expanding its resources. ?More than that, we?re receiving a huge vote of confidence from veterans who have built massive companies and understand the fine points of building for scale, maintaining uptime and delivering the absolute highest standards of service.?