Having received some $27 million in investment from big names like Andreessen Horowitz, LA-based Factual is one of the better funded examples of a ‘data marketplace.’ But Tyler Bell, the company’s Director of Product, is not sure that Factual necessarily fits most people’s perception of what a data marketplace should be.
Focussed — for now — upon aggregating location data, Factual provides access by API or download to a pool of over 55 million places in the US and other territories. A key differentiator for the company is their investment in cleaning and harmonising information drawn from multiple sources. API-based services such as Crosswalk and Resolve enable developers to cope with the very different ways in which third party services like Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla reference a single restaurant or coffee shop.
Tyler suggests, though, that location data may just be the start;
“Factual doesn’t necessarily want to be a location-only company. Really what we’re doing is we’re cutting our teeth on location now, and places… It’s just a wonderful way to learn how to refine your business and of course how to refine your technology stack… But for the immediate future, you’ll see us focus primarily on places.”
Have a listen to learn more about Factual, and to hear some of Tyler’s perspectives on the utility of good, comprehensive data. And check back on Tuesday for the next podcast in the series; Chris Hathaway of AggData.
Following up on a blog post that I wrote at the start of 2012, this is the first in a series of podcasts with key stakeholders in the emerging category of Data Markets. Future conversations, all of which will be published here, have been scheduled with AggData, BuzzData, Datamarket.com, Infochimps, Kasabi, and Microsoft. I am still adding conversations to the series, and intend to talk with more companies and with analysts and investors with insight to share.
- Nurturing the market for Data Markets (cloudofdata.com)
- Data Market Chat: the podcasts are a-coming… (cloudofdata.com)
- With Factual, 1 API now unlocks data for 55 million places (gigaom.com)
- New Factual Resolve API Will Help Clean Up, Complete Location Databases (techcrunch.com)
- SimpleGeo APIs Closed, But Places Data is Open (programmableweb.com)
- Quick Walk Through the World of Location & Places APIs (apievangelist.wordpress.com)
- Mobile Crunch: Urban Airship To Shutter SimpleGeo Services In March, With Factual Picking Up The Slack (techcrunch.com)