Greetings to all.
We've no posted here for a while because of a lot of long-term things we're currently working on, but we're proud to announce our self-service admin panel 🔥
We've used RapidAPI for the last several months to provide our API and currently, our users are able to try our service by using our own self-service portal without adding any payment information and with minimal and simple registration flow.
Hopefully, it will help us to increase the conversion rate and bring us more insights about customer needs and improve the interaction 🎃
Currently self-service portal allows a customer to use our service for Free with 1000 API requests per month and it's really important for us because "Free Trial" is not really the thing we're happy with. We're planning to provide the paid service as well in the nearest future, but we should always be sure that our quality will meet the customer's expectations, so feel free to check it out (yep, it's really a free subscription plan with no payment info required, just click on any CTA button 🙃): http://scrapingant.com/
Everybody likes to take some action and receive instant feedback, but it does not always work in that way 🤷♂️
So, during the last month, we've focused on the development of the frontend part of our self-service admin panel, because we'd like to spread the channels of our API distribution and have more control over user flow. 🤖
RapidAPI is a great platform for selling the APIs, but there is a lack of user flow control, so it's quite hard to optimize a funnel. I can recommend this platform for everyone, who'd like to validate the API service MVP without implementing a bunch of processing stuff.
Also, as an alternative to RapidAPI, I can suggest taking a look https://saasify.sh/
The deployed K8s cluster works as expected and even better, so we can scale our infrastructure in minutes without any DevOps actions and with only the simple UI action. 🚀
As mentioned before, we're moving our business to EU right now, so the COVID delays annoy us insanely, but in all businesses, you can do other tasks while blocked with a particular one. 🙃
A great announcement becomes closer, but let's wait a bit 🤫
See you soon 😉
Our blog section becomes alive ❤️
And even some articles were at the main of HackerNews. 🤓
Blog writing is a pretty good idea for SEO purposes, but the conversion rate is quite small, so it's more about long-term ranking investment.
We've started 3 months ago really fast with a straightforward and not optimized solution. Now we're having several fundamental tech basics that help us to have the API with close to 100% success rate and low latency. One of those basics is a good and reliable proxy provider. Our goal is to make a good product, so it's not a good idea to save money on the quality of the components 😉
The last month was pretty tough and full of waiting - we've finished all the hard work to move all into the Kubernetes cluster, but we still have to wait for the legal documents to be finished for moving from MVP to a real product. 🧳
The K8S improvement doesn't require really so much time but in case most of the borders are still closed we're not able to spread the technology using our self-hoster solution instead of RapidAPI only because of company registration delays. 🤷♂️
So, while we have some time before all the documents will arrive, we're working on a more stable and reliable service, understanding business needs and pains and pushing the things forward as usual 💪
Since the last update, we were working on our new course and the result is our 3 Github repos:
2 main languages used: Python and JS.
Python code was dockerized to share the simplicity of using our service inside any pipelines.
JS code was pushed to NPM to provide CLI and library tools for NodeJS developers.
Also, we've deeply dived into the Recaptcha v3 algorithm to increase our avoiding results, so to beat one Machine Learning thing you probably need another one Machine Learning thing 😉
A lot of buzz words learned due to this period in the perspective of service: Kubernetes, Terraform, bare metal and much more, but it's just a clues to guess what's behind of our spiced scraping sauce receipt 🥘
While several discussions inside ScrapingAnt team we have decided to change a bit the vector of our big orange rocket flight 🐜 🚀
First of all, a few words about us: we're 2 software developers with the overall experience around ~20 years. Every day we have challenged a lot of problems and for the resolving of these problems, we've often asked Google to find clues. Most of this problems were resolved by several community-driven sources: Github, Stackoverflow, Medium.
As our SaaS product is about API and resolving engineering tasks we'd like to make a greater impact on the community, so we've decided to not only make our product codebase cleaner/faster/flexible but also to share our scraping knowledge with opensource solutions on our Github page. It should help our customers to understand better our product possibilities and create some start point for some particular site scraping.
But not only this decision was a vector changing. Most of us like free products and free plans, but many of SaaS marketing tutorials suggest creating "Trial" and not "Free". The main difference between these paradigms is that trial is a one-time thing, and free is constant and continuous. So yep, our product has no "Trial", "Try without credit card", "Contact us to schedule your trial".
We believe that allowing users to use our service for free will give us more than just grabbing contacts of customers to schedule a demo.
We hope, that this growth vector change will help us to resolve more customer problems and receive more feedback. Let's see 🤓
We have reached a new goal - 20 ScrapingAnt API customers.
So we'd like to share some stats that are related to this achievement:
We're preparing a release for a new game-changing feature! 😎
We have created a GitHub page to expose more use cases, that can be resolved by using our service. We have started with one of the most useful scraping cases - data mining for lead generation. Here you can check our scraper for ZoomInfo: https://github.com/ScrapingAnt/zoominfo_scraper
Today we have closed one of our major goals - 10 customers.
While reaching this goal we have achieved the following points:
Our rocket is just filling with fuel 🚀
Our site has reached 1k visitors goal. We've learned a lot of information about SEO, content creation, website design, and integration and this is a great experience for personal and business improvements. The next goal is 10k. Any thoughts about the due date? 😎
We both as 2 Co-Founders want to start the business instead of full-time office jobs to bring our experience as a product, that we passioned with. 10+ years in software development, startups, R&D, Worldwide Enterprise.