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How Webz.io Improves Efficiency And Business Decision-making: Q/A with CEO Ran Geva

How Webz.io Improves Efficiency And Business Decision-making: Q/A with CEO Ran Geva

Roberto Popolizio
Website Planet had the chance to sit down and chat with Ran Geva, Co-Founder & CEO of Webz.io. We will discover how Webz.io robust solution for structured data integration bridges the gap between web content and informed decision-making, and all the other secrets behind 7 years of growth.

Let’s introduce Webz.io to our audience.  What is it and how does it work?

Webz.io provides a robust solution for converting web content into structured data suitable for integration into large-scale data applications. Think of it as a big web data powerhouse, collecting and structuring information from the depths of the web for both machine applications and human consumption.

We transform HTML content into a unified format, which clients can access through our API in either JSON or XML. Our offerings encompass a wide range of content sources, including news, blogs, forums, reviews, as well as areas like the dark web and eCommerce. The applications for our service are diverse, spanning from tracking marketing trends and analyzing user feedback to financial monitoring, cyber security, and risk management.

Over the past 7 years, our web data solutions have fueled some of the world’s most advanced solutions, in all parts of the world, in various fields. The benefits vary depending on the data solution they use, and they include: 
  1. Enhanced Data Integration: By converting web content into structured data suitable for large-scale data applications, businesses can more efficiently integrate and process diverse online content into their systems.
  2. Diverse Content Sources: With access to a wide range of content sources, including news, blogs, forums, reviews, the dark web, and eCommerce, businesses can gain a comprehensive overview of their online presence and reputation
  3. Informed Decision Making: Through tracking marketing trends, businesses can make informed decisions about their marketing strategies and campaigns
  4. User Feedback Analysis: By analyzing user feedback, businesses can identify areas of improvement and refine their product or service offerings to better meet customer needs
  5. Financial Insights: With the ability to conduct financial assessments based on the vast content accessible through Webz.io, businesses can gain insights into market trends, competitor financial health, and potential investment opportunities
  6. Enhanced Cyber Security: By accessing and analyzing content from the dark web, businesses can identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities, allowing them to bolster their cyber security measures
  7. Risk Management: With comprehensive data on various online domains, businesses can better assess risks associated with their operations, partnerships, or other ventures.
These measurable benefits can lead to improved operational efficiency, better-informed decision-making processes, and ultimately, a more robust and secure online business presence.

How does your mission differ from the other companies in your niche?

Our mission at Webz.io goes beyond merely structuring web data. We are committed to making the vast and varied universe of the web accessible and useful for businesses. 

While other companies may focus on extracting web content, our emphasis is on transforming that content into machine-readable, and insight-ready data. We aim to bridge the gap between raw web data and informed decision-making, enabling businesses to harness the full power of the digital realm.

There are various USPs but the main ones include:
  • Comprehensive content reach: We cover a spectrum of online content, from mainstream sources like news, blogs, and forums to specialized areas like the dark web and eCommerce.  
  • Specialized search capabilities: Think of Webz.io as ‘Google for machines’. Our platform is designed not just to collect, but to comprehend, classify, and curate web content in ways that other solutions can’t match.
  • Quality content: Regardless of its source, the web data we provide is structured, noise-free and timely, making it easier for business to plug in and generate critical insights quickly and efficiently.
That’s where we’re at now, but our long-term vision is to be the bridge between web content and data-driven insights, catering not only to automated systems but also to humans. We envision a world where people can effortlessly access the web data they require, simplifying their decision-making processes. Success, for us, is not merely about metrics like revenue or client numbers. It’s about the tangible difference we make in people’s lives, the ease with which they can access critical information, and the innovations we introduce to the digital data realm.

Fast forward, can you share any numbers that can prove your success? (i.e. we reached X customers inY countries)

Webz.io originated as a strategic division within Buzzilla, a known Israeli brand monitoring enterprise. At Buzzilla, we recognized the need for extensive web coverage and understood that specialized focus was necessary for optimal results. This realization culminated in a proof of concept within Buzzilla, which, upon showing significant promise, led to the establishment of Webz.io as an autonomous entity in 2016.

Initially, our operations were lean with a team comprising three individuals: myself, Guy Mor, who oversaw product and marketing, and a dedicated developer. We adopted a freemium model, coupled with a grassroots strategy, which attracted immediate traction. As the business landscape evolved and demand surged, we transitioned to catering to enterprise-level clients to accelerate growth.

Today, Webz.io boasts a dedicated team of  about 60 professionals, generating an annual recurring revenue exceeding $10 million ARR. We began by specializing in data verticals like news, blogs, and forums. As we expanded, our portfolio included reviews, dark web, and most recently, eCommerce data.
One of the main lessons we learned is the significance of firsthand product experience during its development phase. Without direct user involvement, product creation risks being grounded in assumptions rather than genuine user needs. For instance, our initial launch of the eCommerce data vertical was based on our presumption that clients would prefer accessing eCommerce data similarly to how they access news or blog web data – through a pre-crawled search engine model. However, we soon discovered that, unlike seeking broad topic insights from news or blogs, eCommerce users sought specific, real-time product information. Recognizing this gap, we revamped and reintroduced our eCommerce Reviews API solution with a customized approach, ensuring up-to-date product and reviews information tailored to each client’s specific requirements. 

This journey underscores just how important it is to avoid assumptions in product design. Instead, it’s crucial to integrate insights either directly from target clients or from individuals who will actively utilize the product, ensuring the delivery of tangible value.

Who are your typical clients and what problems do they have when they come to you?

Our typical clients range from brand monitoring enterprises, digital marketers, and research analysts to eCommerce businesses. The primary challenges they face are the lack of comprehensive, up-to-date web data and the difficulty in converting raw web content into actionable insights.

Our heavy users are predominantly enterprise-level companies, which demand extensive web coverage to guide their strategic decisions, monitor brand reputation, track risks and threats, or understand market dynamics.

All our customers ask for assistance in:
  • Accessing diverse online content sources, ensuring they don’t miss out on critical insights.
  • Transforming raw data into structured and actionable formats, enabling easier integration and analysis.
Ignoring these challenges can lead to ill-informed decisions, missed opportunities, and potential damage to their brand reputation.

Many clients previously relied on manual searches for that, used basic web scraping tools, or depended on generic search engines that didn’t offer tailored or real-time data solutions at scale.
Some of these competitors in our domain include DataScraper or NewsAPI. Clients often found these platforms lacking in terms of real-time web data delivery, comprehensive web coverage, or ease of integration. They looked for a better solution when they had to cope with inconsistent data quality, limited source variety, and the overhead costs of post-processing data.

However, prospective clients expressed concerns when starting with us:
  • The scalability of our solutions.
  • The comprehensiveness of our web coverage
  • Transitioning from their current solutions to ours with minimal disruptions.
Our scalable data solutions, either bespoke or live, stand out in 3 ways:
  • Comprehensive Coverage: From news and blogs to the dark web and eCommerce, our coverage is unparalleled.
  • Real-time Crawling: Unlike competitors, we offer an ad-hoc solution that crawls specific products and reviews upon a client’s request, ensuring timely and relevant data.
  • Unified Data Structure:: Data from all sources is transformed into a consistent, actionable format, making integration effortless.

Can you share any success stories where your product made a significant difference for a business dealing with these challenges?

One of our notable success narratives centers around a leading global customer experience enterprise. Prior to our collaboration, they faced difficulties aggregating real-time product data and reviews from multiple sources, posing significant challenges in collecting essential user feedback for their customers. 

Once they integrated our web data, they gained instantaccess to product  and reviews data from  hundreds of eCommerce platforms. This capability empowered them to deliver their clients immediate insights derived from online reviews, making them one of the world’s leading solutions.

Our customer satisfaction survey have shown that our clients consistently highly rank the following features:
  • Extensive Online Source Coverage: Our solution taps into millions of online sources, ensuring that clients have a broad and diverse dataset to draw from, capturing a holistic view of the digital landscape.
  • Low Latency Crawling: Our advanced crawling technology operates with minimal delay, ensuring that businesses receive timely and up-to-date information. This is crucial for making real-time decisions in today’s fast-paced digital environment.
  • Unified Data Structure: Our clients have expressed deep appreciation for the uniformity of the data we provide. This cohesiveness not only streamlines their analytic processes but also negates the cumbersome and resource-intensive task of data transformation, allowing them to focus on insights rather than preparatory tasks.
Before Webz.io, many businesses operated with lagging or incomplete data. Now, they can generate near real-time insights, adapting swiftly to market changes, harness a broader spectrum of the web, drawing from niche and hidden layers like the dark web for critical insights, and save resources previously dedicated to data cleaning, and redirect them to more strategic tasks.

We often hear that the breadth and depth of our web coverage surpass competitors, especially our agility in sourcing from specialized areas of the web. Many commend the ease of integration due to our unified data structure, noting that it has significantly reduced their operational overhead costs.

If you had unlimited funds, what improvements would you make?

We plan to  use large language models to augment our data-driven insights, thereby elevating our position in the value chain. We are also planning to develop applications tailored for direct human interaction, facilitating a more rapid penetration into a broader Total Addressable Market (TAM).

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