Two signs the the European startup eco-system is maturing came in the form of two major events today. The first was the NOAH COnference in London which has now matured after three years growth into a mid-to-late stage tech and investment where you’ll find late stage VCs rubbing shoulders with Private Equity people. This is all too rare an event in Europe given there is so match early stage startup activity, and probably something a number of other event players are eye-ing up with interest given the bulging hallways at the conference venue. The second was literally at the other end of the spectrum, but no less interesting. The API Conference coming to London was evidence that startups and prosperous API businesses, with successful developer programs, are at least as much part of the emerging European scene as any consumer-facing tech startup. In major news, Duedil, the largest source of free private company information in the UK and Ireland, launched the first transversable API for company information – at least in the UK.
This API provides direct access to up to 20 years of information on all companies registered in the UK & Ireland, with additional countries being added soon. The idea is that businesses will use the Duedil API to to find the best customers and shorten their sales cycles. Damian Kimmelman, CEO of Duedil announced that they had partnered with the API aggregator Mashery to deliver the API.
Right now around 99% of all businesses in Europe are small and medium sized enterprises, which contribute more than 50% of total value added to the EU economy. However, finding and cross-referencing information on these companies is a pain in the ass.
Duedil’s API is attempting to address this problem by allowing any company to leverage company information – in effect this is the ‘due diligence’ tag line of Duedil.
They’ve put in place a pricing structure, and developer sandbox for free access to basic company information and traversable calling – which returns multiple linked data sets with a single call, allows company searches by URL, and returns structured data in both machine and human readable formats. Duedil currently carries data on over 9 million companies and 13 million directors, including location details, full accounts, credit ratings, director histories and a lot more.
Meanwhile back at NOAH today, at the other end of the spectrum of startup conversations, the chatter in the hallways was not of APIs but of follow-on fundings. There remains disgruntlement at European companies jumping into Delaware companies too soon or just selling out. But the optimism about the growing scene was palpable. More on that later.
As they say, it’s up to Europe to put its own house in order. But at least the differing ends of the spectrum are finally getting their just dues.