AlchemyAPI has raised $2 million to extend the capabilities of its deep learning technology that applies artificial intelligence to read and understand web pages, text documents, emails, tweets, and other forms of content. Access Venture Partners led the Series A round, which the company will use to ramp up its sales and marketing, make hires and launch new services.
Founder and CEO Elliot Turner says its natural language processing technology is used in vertical markets such as financial services, which uses Alchemy’s technology to analyze text and search for signals from the data it can plug into its trading algorithms. It is offered as a service or in the form of an appliance that companies install in its data centers.
Alchemy, which launched in 2009, processes 3 billion API calls per month. It is used in 36 countries. The company does so many API calls that Programmable Web added Alchemy to its API Billionaire’s Club, joining Google, Facebook and LinkedIn and the few others who can claim such status.
Alchemy gets paid by the API call or transaction. About 90 percent of the calls are transaction based.
Alchemy has technology similar to IBM Watson, which customers use for questions and answers of particular data sets. In contrast, Turner says Alchemy does text analysis across any data set. The company is one of a handful to use neural net technology in such a fashion. Google is using it to do brain simulations but not on the par of Alchemy, which offers the capability to do queries on broad sets of disparate data sets. For example, it can be used to do fine-grained analysis for purposes of legal discovery.
The work Alchemy is doing represents a major breakthrough in how data is analyzed. But can it compete with the big guns of the business? I think so. IBM has not offered Watson as a SaaS, which Alchemy does. IBM is offering deep learning but primarily as an on-premise solution. Alchemy offers a service that any company can pay by the sip.