Browse AI raises $3.8M to scrape data from websites

The Vancouver-based startup lets users train a robot to scrape any website in two minutes — with no code.

Many markets — including e-commerce, real estate, finance, and similar industries — rely on up-to-the-minute data. Typically, companies have created custom code to scrape websites in order to get that information.

Browse AI, however, is hoping to flip that model by offering a no-code alternative. With its automated, trainable bot, Browse AI scrapes data from websites and moves it into a spreadsheet or API for further processing, with no technical expertise required. It’s a solution that has attracted a pedigree of backers — including the co-founders of Blinkist, DoorDash, Dropbox, and Pitch, as well as multiple strategic venture funds — which have now invested roughly CAD $3.8 million into the Vancouver startup.

"Our mission is to democratize access to information on the internet, making it as inclusive as it was intended to be,” says Ardy Naghshineh, founder and CEO at Browse AI. "This seed funding enables us to scale faster and give millions of individuals and SMBs an equal opportunity to benefit from the vast amount of ever-changing online information.”

Browse AI thinks it’s hit on a good niche. Large-scale web data extraction has always been a feature of the internet, and many service providers build custom-coded solutions for large enterprises. So far, however, the company says that startups that have tried to innovate in the space have been unable to build a no-code solution that is website-agnostic, or have been acquired before they’ve developed a mature product, like Palantir Technologies’ buyout of Kimono Labs in 2016.

The market seems to agree. According to Browse AI’s data, the company has more than 200,000 users — including 50 of the Fortune 500 — over the past six months, running off just a $400,000 pre-seed float. The business is now profitable, with its recurring revenues growing 20x year-on-year.

“We're very excited to be joining Browse AI in its mission to build a next-generation data company,” said Niklas Jansen, co-founder of Blinkist. “They have already achieved a lot with very little capital. As AI automates more and more processes and services in the coming years, the need for real-time, reliable data will surge. We see Browse AI as a key player in this world, providing the necessary data layer.”

The company has likely been helped by a surge in interest in AI, buoyed by the mainstream acceptance of machine learning algorithms and language-learning models. No-code or low-code platforms, too, are soaring in popularity — take, for instance, Vancouver’s Minutebook, which raised $3.5 million two months ago — and strides are being made to improve API connectivity.

Browse AI says the newly acquired capital will be primarily used to expand the engineering and AI teams, as well as to build a platform around the current software. The first phase of its strategy, the company suggests, was to build the easiest way for users to train robots and focus on network effects to attract a critical mass of early users. Now, Browse AI plans to automate more and more of the process to take users from signup to setting up complex workflow automations and data pipelines within minutes.

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