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London Tech Week

Prague-based Apify snaps €2.8M for AI web data extraction platform

Apify founders
Picture credits: Apify

Prague-headquartered Apify, a web data extraction platform, has secured an investment of €2.8 million in funding. The investors contributing to this round include venture capital fund J&T Ventures, with participation from existing investor Reflex Capital. 

The funds will be primarily allocated to marketing, product development, and fostering the growth of the developer community. As part of the investment round, the startup also increased the ESOP pool for employee incentives to a share of about 15%.

Apify also intends to use the investment to boost the development, product, data analytics, marketing, and other teams. It also aims to increase direct investment in marketing and expand Apify’s products to new customers.

Idea behind Apify

The company was founded in 2015 by Y Combinator Fellowship – Jan Čurn and Jakub Balada, who met while studying computer science at the UK Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. They recognised the potential for programming to be a profitable business alongside entertainment. Identifying a demand for software capable of extracting specific data from web pages, they created a platform offering tools for this purpose.

What does Apify do?

Apify’s web scraping platform allows companies to mine data from websites and extract data for AI. It can also automate a human’s web-based workflow manually in a web browser and then execute it at scale in the cloud. One of the company’s key services is an open marketplace with so-called Actors – cloud-based programs that can be easily run, shared, integrated, and built upon. Apify offers over 1,500 of these Actors. Its clients include Siemens, Intercom, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Accenture.

Apify has been growing solely from its profits in recent years. It achieved a revenue of €6.7 million and a profit of almost €1 million in 2023. Additionally, it witnessed an 80% growth in revenue for the last quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. 

“Given our size, we opted for a relatively modest amount, as we didn’t want to disrupt the company with a massive influx of capital. This allows us to maintain our financial efficiency and unique company culture while keeping our options open for future investments or exits. Our current goal is to demonstrate our ability to convert capital into economically efficient growth, attract new customers, and scale our business. Once we achieve this, it may make sense for us to seek a large investment from global VC funds and attempt to become the next Czech unicorn,“ said Jan Čurn, founder and CEO of Apify.

“We have been following the journey of Apify with enthusiasm since 2016 when we first met Honza and Jakub. In that time, they have built cutting-edge technology, a strong brand, and an international network of customers. As a result, they are now in a great position to take advantage of the huge opportunities that are opening up. We believe we can help them grow into a global leader,” added Martin Kešner from J&T Ventures.

“We have been supporting Apify for eight years, and we have been sure of its potential every step of the way,“ added Ondřej Fryc from Reflex Capital. “Honza and Jakub have already built a global business with MRR (monthly recurring revenue) in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars that is now rocketing. We see the investment as an opportunity to further support this growth.“ 

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