In the recent years, domain names have became one of the hottest things on the Internet. By now most of the good ones are already taken, however there are still some good ones out there. Constant battle for the attractive domain names has resulted in new TLDs over the years. As more and more websites emerge every second, a need to monitor all of that domain data is ever so present.
WhoAPI, Rijeka-based startup from Croatia has embarked on a journey, one which has taken them across the globe in order to accomplish their goal. It all started in October of 2011. when WhoAPI founders, Goran Duskic and Edi Budimilec sold their company, GEM Studio that they’ve previously founded. Using the money as their initial capital, they’ve started to work on a new project.
Serving the purpose of a platform for an extensive domain data search, WhoAPI gained lot of traction in their first year of the making. First came the investment from Mihovil Barancic, angel investor from Croatia’s CRANE network who invested 50,000 US dollars in this startup. Team used that money to further kick-start the project.
Second round of funding came with Geeks On A Plane Zagreb. When Dave McClure from 500 startups came to Croatia last summer and brought a bunch of foreign investors, he was interested in WhoAPI’s technology and solution and also decided to invest 50,000 US dollars in it. Goran and Edi, alongside with three other team members went to San Francisco for a period of three months where they’ve worked on their startup, and finally launched in December of last year.
Goran was kind enough to give us an interview, so we asked him a couple of questions relating the early stage makingWhoAPI as well as their plans for the future:
What was the initial idea behind WhoAPI and how it all started?
We were running a hosting company, and wanted to provide bulk domain availability across TLD’s without having to use third-party solutions. After we’ve built the solution for ourselves, we thought how there might be other companies that would like to use the same solution. From there our idea grew with other features, and found ways in other industries besides hosting. We ended up selling our company, getting an investment and focusing on this service that has the potential of becoming a platform.
After 500 startups invested in your service, the whole team went to San Francisco to work on the project. In what ways was this helpful?
The experience of living and breathing Silicon Valley is something that money just can’t buy. We madea lot of connections, new investments, feedback from industry experts, and it helped us focus. We went there for the purpose of making WhoAPI a successful project.
Service was launched in December last year. What are the future plans for WhoAPI?
We launched something that is more of a beta, than a working service. Since we were building a technology that perhaps only a handful companies in the world have or use, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Also, WhoAPI is not one function, like WhoAPI function. WhoAPI has screenshot function, DNS zone function, tracert function… It’s like 20 API’s in one. Blacklist API, domain availability API, whois API. For example whois API is giving us a hard time, and we can’t really say we launched it in December. However blacklist API, screenshot API, and many other, are working and we are trying to market them right now. At the same time, the dev team is improving the whoisAPI, and other ones that can be improved depending on user feedback.