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For many of us in online news and content discovery, Google Alerts simply aren't cutting it anymore.

Trapit, which has raised $6.2 million in Series A funding to address the need for content discovery, surfaces content using some of the same artificial intelligence technology involved with Siri on the iPhone, and comes to us as consumer-facing iPad app, or more recently, a B2B publishing suite.

Plugged into content from more than 140,000 sources, Trapit aims to solve the problem of content discovery for brands and consumers through artificial intelligence. When you set a "Trap" in the iPad app, the look and feel is similar to Flipboard, or Feedly.

The startup claims to be better at surfacing content "off the beaten path" and therefore in a different league from casual news readers with recommendation built-in like Zite.

In one sentence, what is Trapit?

Trapit is a content discovery platform for businesses, brands and publishers that uses advanced AI technology to deliver highly relevant, personalized information and articles to their audiences, whether internally, for companies, or externally, for readers and communities.

What problem does Trapit solve?

The web is generating more content and information than ever before, and it's increasingly difficult to fine tune relevancy and personalization amid all the noise. 

For publishers and content marketers, Trapit engages your audience with the most relevant, deep-diving content from around the web and from your publication's content pool, including the archives. 

For companies, Trapit offers a knowledge base that delivers precisely the information that your team needs to know when they need to know it. It's about keeping your team informed on the topics that are most important for your business, and encouraging the curiosity within your company that sparks innovation. 

What are your immediate goals?

Immediately, our goals are to continue to partner with the publishers, brands and companies that are looking for high engagement solutions and a relevant, personalized experience for their readers and communities.

Both on the consumer and B2B sides of Trapit, we have seen an amazing response and some really creative partnerships that have stretched the limits of what can be accomplished with our platform. We will continue to expand those features, as well as build out the depth of our content pool, which currently draws from over 140,000 sources on the Web. 

What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?

The biggest challenge at the moment is our increased focus on the B2B market. While we have always intended to expand our enterprise focus, that emphasis has come rapidly, simply from the inbound demand and interest that we've received from brands and companies.

It's opened many new doors for Trapit in the areas of content marketing and brand publishing and we're still exploring the possibilities! 

How will the company make money?

Currently we have a Publisher Suite that's can also be used by brands and is available for a monthly subscription that starts as low as $1,000, and scales up depending on options and usage. We're also building individual partnerships with major companies and brands that want to license and use Trapit.

Who is in your team?

Trapit was founded by myself and Gary Griffiths, our CEO. Gary has been in the high-tech industry for more than 25 years and brings immense executive experience to the team. I developed Trapit while working at SRI International as an entrepreneur in residence.

We also have a full team of talented engineers and content editors.  

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

Over the next couple of years, we'll be continuing to validate and build out our B2B products and maximize the platform for those use cases. Looking further ahead, we want Trapit to be the most valuable and trusted platform for content discovery, whether for brands, publishers, or within major organizations.

The need for a more personal web increases every day, and Trapit's AI has the capabilities to make it so. 

Other than your own, what are your favorite websites/apps/tools?

I'm a Spotify junkie. I'm interested in their newer efforts at music discovery and recommendations and I'm curious to see how they'll evolve over time. 

I also give huge credit to fellow SRI International spin outs, like Desti and Tempo, who are working from the same DARPA-developed AI technology, but applying it to different industries (travel search and personal calendars, respectively).  

Ryan Sommer

Published 7 August, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

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