Metaweb Technologies, Inc. is a United States company based in San Francisco that is developing Freebase, described as an "open, shared database of the world's knowledge". The company was founded by Danny Hillis and Robert Cook as a spinoff of Applied Minds in July, 2005, and operated in stealth mode until 2007.
On March 3, 2007 Metaweb publicly announced Freebase, described by the company as "an open shared database of the world's knowledge," and "a massive, collaboratively-edited database of cross-linked data." Until recently accessible by invitation only, this application is now open to the public in its alpha stage of development.
According to Danny Hillis, "All of the information in Freebase will be available under a license that makes it freely shareable." In the future, the company hopes to generate business revenue by also organizing proprietary data.  Freebase has recently opened full anonymous read access to the public, requiring registration only for data contributions. Freebase contains data harvested from sources such as Wikipedia and MusicBrainz, as well as individually contributed data from its users. The structured data is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,  and a JSON based HTTP API is provided to programmers for developing applications on any platform to utilize the Freebase data (the source for the Metaweb application itself is not made available).
Freebase's ontologies — structured data categories, known in Freebase as "types" — are themselves user-editable. Users can experiment with their own types, which can become broadly adopted if accepted by the administrator of the information category or domain it applies to.
On March 14, 2006, Metaweb received $15 million in funding. Investors included: Benchmark Capital, Millennium Technology Ventures, and Omidyar Network. Kevin Harvey of Benchmark Capital is a member of Metaweb's board of directors. On January 15, 2008, Metaweb announced a $42.5 million Series B round led by Goldman Sachs and Benchmark Capital.
- Radar Networks — developers of semantic web applications for the general public
- Web 3.0 & Web 2.0
- Semantic Web
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- ↑ Metaweb Raises $42.5 Million led by Goldman Sachs and Benchmark Capital (company press release)