Santa Monica-based Factual, the open data startup headed by Gil Elbaz, the inventor of Google's AdSense technology, said today that it has launched a new open set of data that the firm says provides geo-coded data for 14 million local U.S. businesses. Factual said that the data set helps developers gain access to information which had previously been difficult to license, due to multiple vendors and licensing requirements. The release also came in conjunction with new developer tools and redesign by the company to help developers get started more quickly in using its datasets. Factual said its geo-coded data also includes local business information for companies in the UK, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, and Australia. Among other enhancements to the site, Factual said it has added a RESTful API, new tools for geo-specific queries, integration with Google Maps, and topic-specific data hubs.
Factual is backed by a slate of well known angels, including Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, Bill Gross of Idealab, Danny Rimer of Index Ventures, Esther Dyson, the Founder Collective, Gunderson Dettmer, Lee and June Stein, former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, Miramar Venture Partners, Demand Media's Richard Rosenblatt, About.com founder Scott Kurnit, Gerson Lehrman Group's Thomas Lehrman, and Rustic Canyon's Tom Unterman.
Elbaz was founder of Applied Semantics, which was acquired by pre-IPO Google for its AdSense technology, which became Google AdSense. Elbaz became an engineering director at Google, and helped established Google's Southern California operations, before embarking on Factual and other ventures.