In a recent and unexpected news, Kimono Labs was talent-acquired by Palantir Technologies. Kimono has announced that its web scraping tool will cease to exist in its current version although the desktop app will be made available. The announcement quotes this as a primary reason- “Since then, we’ve realized that continuing to work in isolation on a general data collection tool simply won’t allow us to make the impact we want.” This statement however springs up few other analyses of the product that Kimono was and what could have led to this state.
The big data market, from what I assess, is huge, with a tremendous potential to only grow in the coming years with further expansion of web. Of that market, I could safely assume that at least 10% of the market size lies in the data acquisition layer, because unless you acquire data, you can’t proceed into analysis or other sorts of applications you’re looking to build. So if we cater to a market which is $1B+ and solve this core issue of data acquisition for all businesses, there’s a heavy-duty impact in store. It’s hence difficult to give in to the reason Kimono quotes.
Kimono had a very fancy web-app which they claim had garnered a lot of users (another assertion on market size). The extractions worked well over a small scale in a very intuitive manner. But the nature of the solution limited itself to only pockets of markets. Do-it-yourself scraping tools work only in a uniform environment with predictable complexities. However, as we all know, that’s exactly what the web is not. The whole premise of such a solution gets defied by the ever-changing web technologies, the web chaos and the lack of a silver bullet on the web. Every source is different and requires a different approach to crawl data.
Had Kimono tried out with the managed services model, leveraging the algorithm they built for their internal use only, they might have hit the nail on the head. They’d have been catering to a much larger market then and created a larger impact. That’s however just a guess because there might as well be many variables to this equation. It takes a lot to put your ideas in action and stabilize that dream. We wish Kimono all success in their future roles at Palantir.
If you were using Kimono earlier and are in search of alternatives, you could reach out to PromptCloud at firstname.lastname@example.org for your data scraping needs. Although a different model, it’s more peaceful here because we do all the heavy-lifting for you and make sure things run as you expect them to.