Silk, makers of a free web-based personal database/content crunching app, today announced a $1.6 million seed funding round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from Atomico, Anil Hansjee, Jens Christensen and Philippe Cases.
The founders of Silk don’t actually describe their product as a personal database, but it reminds me most of Filemaker Bento, though you’ll find the two products differ quite a bit, most notably in that you can publicly share your Silk content on the web.
Silk lets you create and store structured information and then filter, visualize and manipulate it in various ways, all without the need to edit code. For example, Silk can a list of locations using Google Maps, filter a list based on tags or create a pie chart.
Silk’s Head of Operations Sander Koppelaar explains that the usecases for the app tend to fall into two categories: information that needs to be shared in real time publicly or privately and/or information that needs to remain available for search in the future. Koppelaar gives the example of a list of Olympic medal winners. You may want to keep track of all of this year’s winners, and be able to filter it by country and sport. You may also want to keep it handy so that you can search and filter that information years from now.
Koppelaar says the company has a few ideas for monetization. In the near term it will offer services to customers with specific needs, such as custom domains and templates. Eventually Koppelaar says the company will be able to offer a marketplace for templates and customizations, and later still act as a marketplace for data sets, which could put it into competition with companies like InfoChimps.
The company was founded in 2009 by Lon Boonen, the founder of Xopus, and CEO Salar Al-Khafaji, a physics major who interned for CERN before going to work at Xopus, which sold to SDL in 2009. Silk announced its first round of funding in May 2011.
The company also scores some serious geek cred by being one of the few companies using the Haskell in production.