Below is our recent interview with Justin Thomas, Director of operations at Searchbug:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Searchbug began in 1995 as a website called search-it-all.com as a hobby by Andre Polakoff, our company CTO, while working at Rockefeller University as a research scientist. In the late 90’s Andre added tools to search for people, businesses, jobs, health, legal info, travel, sports, shopping, package tracking, and much more. The site name was changed to searchbug.com in 2000 and in 2002 we partnered with Whitepages and InfoSpace to become their content distributor for People and Yellow Pages data.
In the mid-2000’s we established content reselling agreements with Roomates.com, Reunion.com, PeopleFinders.com, InfoUSA, MelissaData, Superpages.com, and many more since then. We have an array of waterfall vendors and algorithms that enabled us to begin offering our very first Verify Phone API service in 2006. We’ve been growing our API and data services ever since and now offer more than 13 different APIs and Batch Appends for contact data, including name, phone, email, and postal address.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: On August 10th, 2021, Searchbug Inc, joined with API3, a “first-party oracle” solution empowering data providers to offer APIs directly to Web3 applications, to launch the API3 Alliance 3. The API3 Alliance represents a strategic coalition of API providers who believe that we should be able to share the same data and services we currently offer to web applications directly to Web3 consumers, without having to rely on third-party middlemen.
Traditionally, APIs have been forced to either build their own facilities or pay external oracle operators to implement the middleware necessary to make their data and services compatible with the blockchain. API3 offers the tools and individualized support to our growing community — already more than 100 API providers — to go direct to the consumers of our APIs on Web3.
Q: Can you give us more insights into this announcement?
A: Web 2 APIs open up a world of opportunity to Web3. I imagine that web3 ecosystems would be more secure in knowing the information provided by users can be validated at the time provided to help cut down on key process time as well as other customer-centric or manual processes. This saves, time, money, and resources.
When you have users enter personal data our APIs can be used to validate, clean, or enhance user data at the time of entry or during a business process. A few simple examples would include making sure provided phone numbers are actually what the user claims. Is it really a cell phone? Does the caller ID name match what the user provided? Who is the current carrier of that number (this can also be used on an onboarding form during a sign-up or verification)? If a web3 company needs to send physical mail to a user for marketing, compliance, or a federally mandated reason in the future, our postal address API can ensure all addresses conform to postal standards and help identify those that don’t and fix them.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: Besides our API services, Searchbug is constantly working on improving and retooling to keep up with changes and trends in the data industry. Our development team is currently working on 20+ projects to improve our Batch append, skip tracing, phone validation and one-at-a-time instant online people finder tools. For example, due to high demand in the real estate industry, we are working on designing a tool where a customer can draw on a map and we can provide all of the physical addresses and contact information for the residences in that given area.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: There are two things that truly separate Searchbug from our competition:
1) We are one of the few data companies that does not charge any kind of recurring fees – NO SIGN UP FEES, MEMBERSHIP FEES, SUBSCRIPTION FEES, etc. You have FULL CONTROL over your spending and only pay for the searches you place.
2) We pride ourselves on the level of service and support that we provide to our customers. Our level of service is second-to-none. We offer support via chat, email and phone Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 4:30PM Pacific Standard Time and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00AM – 10:00AM Pacific Standard Time. We also pride ourselves on returning overnight messages promptly the next day. We are approachable, available and reachable.