Starting this month, our SFNewTech blog will be bringing insider scoops on the latest happenings at the companies that demo their application or service on our stage. We will also be interviewing the people behind all the cool new technology!
Our first such company is DooChoo. Doochoo took stage at the July 20th (2010) SFNewTech Event. After their awesome demo, we caught up with the two co-founders Armando Biondi and Paolo Privitera and asked them to give us the scoop on DooChoo, their unique platform and applications for opinions.
What is DooChoo?
DooChoo: It’s a platform — a technological platform with some applications built on top of that. It’s like a Freebase for opinions. Imagine a Wikipedia like site, imagine a place where anybody can post opinions and can ask opinions and can get answers. Doochoo is a public, open platform. We don’t own data. You can think of it like a Wikipedia, but much better. Wikipedia is not semantic; so you cannot query Wikipedia.
We compare our platform to Freebase — that, by the way, has been acquired by Google — we have had great meetings with Freebase and we’re really impressed by their platform.
So you can imagine a Freebase-like site with API on top and applications. We are building some applications that work as proof of concept plus we can go very deep into niche markets. We can power up specific areas of the platforms. We do API. We can offer any developer or user to build an application on our platform.
So, I program in your platform and then implement it on my Site?
DooChoo: Anything you can imagine about using a platform or an application can be done. Keep in mind that it’s not just for developers and users. It’s a platform where anybody, even a non-proficient / non-techie users, can go there and query any possible question, opinions, recommendation and get an answer. Not only for data, but also for structure.
How different or similar is it to social search engines like Aardvark?
DooChoo: It’s very different in this way — virtually any other competitor of DooChoo doesn’t have structured data model — structured data for inbound information. We are starting from building a new type of data structure, very specifically made for organizing opinions and is going to help to build the semantic layer on which we can also, in phase two or three, gather data that are not structured.
Right now, a lot of companies are offering semantic too, to understand sentiment. We are not doing that. We are building a structured data set on which people can offer opinions in a structured way. Imagine a poll or a survey — you like or don’t like — yes or no.
In the future, as I said, we can also have semantic tools to understand what people are thinking, but that is not our goal.
Can you tell me a little bit about the company?
DooChoo: The whole idea started more than a few years ago from Armando, then we met through a company called H-art in Italy. The company has been officially founded in January 2010 and it has been funded as well. We had a price seed of $150,000. We’ve had a decent burn rate and now we are close to the moment in which we are going to need funding to reach our next step.