Clearbit APIs Aim to be Data Backbone of Business Decisions

Clearbit launched last month with a set of APIs aimed at drastically improving business data. Its first three APIs — Clearbit PersonClearbit Company and Clearbit Watchlist — used in collaboration, accept a single email address and return name, title, company, company details and whether the individual has been flagged by a government watch list. Clearbit automates the collection of data that users traditionally gather through a host of manual Google searches.

"Clearbit's aim is to be the data backbone for modern businesses, powering everything from lead scoring to identity verification," Clearbit co-founder and CEO Alex MacCaw wrote in a blog post. "We deeply understand APIs, and we'll always be an API first company."

Still in its infancy, Clearbit has attracted some big-name customers (e.g., Stripe, MailChimp, ZenPayroll). The use cases for Clearbit's growing API portfolio vary widely and indicate massive potential for the startup. Some companies use Clearbit to prioritize sales leads. Others use Clearbit to vet job candidates. Regardless of use case, Clearbit envisions itself as a data backbone support for a company's larger efforts.

The Person API accepts email addresses and returns associated data (name, social media profiles, title, etc.). The Company API accepts a domain name and returns company name, funding, number of employees and more. The Watchlist API searches consolidated U.S., U.K., Australian and Canadian government watch lists to comply with regulations. Additionally, Clearbit has launched a beta Geolocation API that checks the validity of an address. To gather such information, Clearbit both crawls publicly accessible Web entities and also scrapes "about" pages, SSL certificates and more to build its own data set.

It's hard to question the potential of Clearbit's mission. As it continues to build its data and API base, its usefulness will likely grow in tandem. However, Clearbit's success relies on its ability to return useful data. Clearbit will grow its user base only through providing easily accessible, relevant data. Otherwise, users will revert to traditional methods for business data. Clearbit offers a free trial so users can determine what value it provides for their business.

Eric Carter Eric the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+