Trapit touts itself as a ‘personal discovery engine’ – an AI-powered RSS service that delivers users content they’re interested in based on browsing history and engagement. The startup left the beta stage with an iPad app release in July, and now it’s launching a developer version that gives third party vendors access to the underlying technology that powers the recommendation system. It’s a huge step for Trapit to become part of the larger API economy, especially as the need for improved, personalized recommendations requires more communication amongst web and mobile applications.
The Trapit Platform has been released ahead of schedule, offering the core machine-learning technology up to publishers that want to keep better track of their content and identify popular topics. The first big user of the platform is Astro, one of Malaysia’s biggest media groups. And Trapit got more than they bargained for with the Astro team-up.
Astro seems rather enthusiastic about Trapit and its technology. In addition to signing a partnership agreement startup Astro also made a $2 million strategic investment in the startup, which will use the capital to accelerate its expansion in Asia and other intentional markets.
“We’re pleased to welcome Astro not only as our first platform customer, but as a strategic investor,” said Gary Griffiths, CEO and co-founder at Trapit. “With their extensive content library, multinational reach, and technology prowess, Astro is the ideal showcase for our personalized discovery engine, which we believe is the best on the planet. Astro customers will benefit from unprecedented recommendations, across media types, tailored to their individual interests. And that’s just the beginning.”
Trapit says that it delivers over 5 million articles on a daily basis – more than enough to justify hiring a Yahoo veteran as its new chief content officer. Liz Lufkin served as the head of front-page programming for the web portal and knows a lot about getting readers’ attention. Her job now is to get Trapit’s name out there, convincing users that her new employer’s service is better than everyone else’s.