Launched in 2018 as a self-service-based proxy infrastructure, Smartproxy now serves over 50,000 users—from Fortune 500 companies to solopreneurs. We caught up with Smartproxy CEO Vytautas Savickas to discuss the rise of artificial intelligence, the value of high-quality data, and the importance of doing the right thing.

EWDCI: Can you give us the elevator pitch for Smartproxy?

Vytautas Savickas: Smartproxy provides an infrastructure to streamline web data projects with lightning-fast setup, flexible pricing, and 24/7 technical support. We empower our users to confidently test, launch, and scale their web data infrastructure in the most efficient way, with full confidence in our solutions’ performance. At the same time, Smartproxy is committed to providing excellent value while adhering to principles of fairness, transparency, and industry best practices.

In terms of numbers, our robust infrastructure features over 65 million ethically-sourced IPs from over 195 locations, supporting all five proxy types with four powerful scraping APIs, along with complimentary tools.

EWDCI: What do you wish more people understood about web scraping?

VS: Web scraping is essential for enabling data-driven decision-making, providing access to publicly-available data at any scale. For small- and medium-sized businesses, web scraping is an enabler for innovation and growth—while larger enterprises leverage collected data for product development, market analysis, and operational improvements.

Speaking from an individual perspective, web scraping isn’t just for commercial gain. It has a wide range of beneficial applications. From academic research and journalism to public health monitoring and social-good projects, web scraping allows access to data that can inform public policy, enhance transparency, and drive benefits to our common wellbeing.

EWDCI: How have global events impacted your growth and service offerings in the last few years?

VS: Two come to mind right away. The first was the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022: this led to us severing our business with Russian and Belarusian companies.

Second would be the end of the free capital era: many of our customers are B2B tech companies that relied heavily on financing with low-interest loans. The increases in interest rates worldwide have led many of our customers to focus on efficiency.

EWDCI: What effect has the rapid growth of AI had on your service offerings?

VS: With the growing attention to artificial intelligence, we continue to explore the capabilities of implementing those technologies into our solutions to make our web scraping product line even better. Internally, we are working on AI chatbots to enhance our personalized customer experience. From the product development perspective, we are working in several areas. For example, improving integrations with AI agents to allow LLMs to access publicly-available web data easily. We are using AI to enhance our scrapers’ parsing capabilities and empower our proxy rotation management to improve success rates per different targets.

EWDCI: What are the most innovative use cases for your products that you’ve seen?

VS: Along with the most popular use cases like SEO monitoring, ad verification, price intelligence, and affiliate marketing, more users have started using web scraping solutions to collect real-time, publicly-available data to train various predictive AI-powered technologies and optimize NLP models. 

EWDCI: Where does government policy interface with your work on a daily basis?

VS: Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is essential to our business operations. We stay current with evolving legal requirements related to intellectual property laws, data protection and privacy laws, cybersecurity laws, contract laws, and so on. Our practices align with these regulations and ensure that we meet our own ethical principles. We consistently monitor and assess relevant regulations to ensure our services remain compliant with any changes that may affect them. Ongoing employee training on these regulations further supports our compliance and ethical commitments, ensuring we provide trustworthy and reliable data-gathering solutions.

EWDCI: Why did your team find it important to join the EWDCI?

VS: From the outset, Smartproxy has been dedicated to delivering value while upholding fairness, transparency, and industry best practices. As a co-founding member of the EWDCI, we are dedicated to fostering public trust and upholding ethical standards in the data collection industry. Our emphasis on ethical and sustainable proxy acquisition aligns with EWDCI’s values of promoting responsible, transparent practices in data collection.