Locu, one of CNN's hot startups to watch, has released an API that exposes Locu's database of business information to third party developers. Locu launched the Locu API at Tech Disrupt SF 2012 and drew immediate attention. The API allows developers to retrieve real-time business data (e.g. venue information, pricelists, menus, etc.) and integrate the data into existing applications. Locu's index crawls the web for business data, and the API makes that data available to other websites and applications. Locu, CEO Rene Reinsberg, claims that "any business that has a product or service and a list of prices could be pulled into the Locu database."
Locu initially focused on the restaurant industry, which grew its user base and where Locu made itself a name. Now, with the API, Locu is expanding to new markets; accordingy to Reinsberg, pretty much all markets. At Tech Disrupt SF, the API proved useful as many developers played with the API during onsite labs. The technical efficiency the API provides combined with the press received should make for quick traction in the developer community.
Locu believes "[t]he electronic world needs structured data." By crawling the web for massive amounts of business data and providing the results to developers in an organized manner, Locu finds that "structured data elevates functionality to a new level, previously limited to the realm of science fiction." Locu may have discovered a method of collecting and delivering data on a mass scale that has traditionally been performed at a developer by developer rate. For those interested in the API, visit Locu's developer page.