New Enterprise Associates backs Silk

Silk has received $1.6 million in seed financing from New Enterprise Associates. Silk, which is also backed by Atomico, is a cloud-based data-publishing platform.

PRESS RELEASE

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS–(Marketwired – Oct 7, 2013) – Silk, provider of a cloud-based data publishing platform that lets non-technical users manage their structured and unstructured content as easy-to-search collections of web pages and visualizations, today announced Silk for Teams, the company’s first paid offering. Silk leverages new capabilities in the HTML5 microdata standard to combine the power of a database with the ease of use of a content management system, giving non-technical workers the power to build highly structured collections of data. Silk also announced a $1.6 million extended seed round investment from New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
Knowledge workers who previously wasted hours each week searching through spreadsheets, text documents and presentations can quickly upload this content into Silk, which converts the information into collections of structured web pages, called Silk Sites. By attaching specific user-designated tags to the HTML in Silk Sites, Silk builds a semantic map of the content that allows users to quickly generate searches based on any combination of tags, or to create detailed visualizations such as charts, tiles, or maps. This can be accomplished intuitively with just a few clicks.
Using Silk, Human Rights Watch (HRW) combined hundreds of different Word documents and spreadsheets containing voting records and commentary on United Nations voting patterns into a single Silk Site. On this site users can generate maps, tile views, Wiki-style pages, lists, and charts of every country’s UN voting record on human rights resolutions organized by country, year, region, and specific resolution.
“Before Silk, it was incredibly time consuming to keep track of the voting patterns on amendments. And building graphics to show our findings was also difficult and required an expert resource,” said Stephen Northfield, Director of Digital at Human Rights Watch. “Silk lets our non-technical staff convert years of data into beautiful interactive maps and graphics. This allows our team and anyone else the ability to study voting records from almost any vantage point with just a few clicks.”
Silk helps non-technical people gain and easily share new insights into structured and unstructured data with others. Sharing can occur within Silk for Teams on a private site, or publicly over the Internet. Silk’s unique visualizations make data richer, more accessible and more impactful:
With the new Silk for Teams, Silk allows companies or organizations to build private, secure Silk Sites backed by a rapid-response support tier for paid subscription customers. Proven use cases for Silk include project management, customer relationship management, historical data capture and analysis, human resources intranets, competitive analysis, and lightweight graphics generation for publication in reports or embeds in web sites.
“Knowledge workers are seeing exponential growth in the amount of information-rich content that they will need to work with,” said Brad Shimmin, Research Director at industry research firm Current Analysis. “The compelling value proposition of Silk for Teams is that it allows knowledge workers to make use of structured and unstructured data without the limitations of a third-party service provider and without needing to have any technical expertise.”
The extended financing round brings total funding to date of $3.7 million, and includes investments from NEA as well as Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom’s venture fund Atomico. Silk’s founding team previously launched Xopus, which was acquired in 2010 by publicly-traded SDL, the global customer experience management company. Xopus offered a solution for enterprises looking to make use of structured and complex content.
“In Silk, we wanted to give knowledge workers the ability to take information trapped in text documents and spreadsheets and convert it into brilliant visualizations and collections of richly faceted, searchable data,” said Silk CEO and co-founder Salar al Khafaji. “This is something that only powerful databases and expensive content analysis tools could previously accomplish.”
To date, 16,000 registered Silk users have created more than 300,000 individual pages on the Silk, a tally that is growing at roughly 20 percent monthly. Early adopters have come from a wide range of industries, including digital marketing, venture capital, government, media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Users include The Guardian, a global video services provider, a leading American digital marketing agency, a large European Union government agency, and hundreds of startups across the EU.
Additionally, Silk today announced availability of its product and the thousands of Silk sites on a new, shorter www.silk.co domain. To learn more about Silk, Silk for Teams or learn how to create your own free Silk Site, register on our website www.silk.co.
About Silk
Silk is a cloud-based data-publishing platform that makes it easy to research, store and manage structured and unstructured content in easy-to-search collections of web pages and visualizations that people can share in secure private groups or publicly on the web. Unlike corporate databases and content management systems that require technical skills, Silk enables anyone to easily organize a collection of information and publish it on the web. Silk is financially backed by Niklas Zennstrom’s Atomico, New Enterprise Associates and a range of leading angel investors. For more information, visit us at http://www.silk.co/ or follow us on Twitter @silkapp.

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