Startup Spotlight: Silk helps anyone tell their stories online with robust data visualisation tools (video) recently caught up with Salar al Khafaji, one of the founders and CEO of Silk, an Amsterdam-based startup that helps publishers create and share well-crafted, data-driven stories on the Web.
Startup Spotlight: Silk helps anyone tell their stories online with robust data visualisation tools (video)

Aside from shining a light on some of Europe’s finest bootstrapped technology companies, we’ve also kicked off the ‘Startup Spotlight’ series featuring relatively under-the-radar but interesting European tech startups on a weekly basis. This week, we shine a light on Silk.

During my whirlwind startup tour in Amsterdam last week, I got a chance to sit down with Salar al Khafaji, its bright co-founder and chief executive.

Silk offers a cloud-based publishing platform where anyone can create easily shareable, data-driven stories with interactive elements such as infographics and maps (it's popular among journalists). The product is currently free for individual users and teams, but the company charges for custom visualisations and other premium features.

The company has offices in Amsterdam and San Francisco and is backed by close to $3.7 million in funding from angel investors and VC firms such as New Enterprise Associates and Atomico.


I asked Salar how many people are currently using Silk but he chose not to disclose that number, although he did share that the number of visualisations made to date runs in the "many, many millions".

Publishers using Silk to create and share data-driven stories on the Web include CNN, Fusion, Vox and The Atlantic, Salar added. He and the now 20 other members of the Silk team are currently working on a big product update that should be live soon, and which will make the entire platform even more mobile-friendly than it already is.

While you wait for that to drop, check out some of the Silks that have been created already by scrolling down on the company's homepage (and, as a personal recommendation, subscribe to the Daily Silk email update - it's genuinely enjoyable and some of the visualisations I've seen are very creative).

Salar and I also briefly talked about Amsterdam's startup ecosystem and how he things it stacks up compared to other, more mature hubs like Silicon Valley, London and Berlin.

Watch the interview to find out what he said!

silk Holland

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