APIs 101 for VCs
RapidAPI is not what you would call a typical Grove Ventures investment.
Yes, Iddo Gino was only 16 when Dov Moran first invested in him and yes, although by now he can legally be drinking alcohol he is still our youngest CEO — pretty impressive for a guy who built the largest market place in the world for APIs.
Alcohol aside, RapidAPI has done something pretty great. APIs are now more accessible than ever and forget having to be a super-ultra-mega nerd (a compliment in my world) to know how to use them. We’ve been using Rapid quite extensively lately, below a simple example of one of the more fun ways to try.
The most straightforward way to use RapidAPI is through its integration with Google sheets. You can take a look at Alex Welling’s great blog about the technicalities but trust me, if you can sum cells in excel you’re going to master this by your second coffee break, assuming you’re sipping your first reading those lines and that you take your coffee every 15 minutes.
You’ll simply need to install the RapidAPI plugin and form the API request as any other formula using the GETT or GETARR functions; all the parameters you’ll need to use are displayed in the specific API documentation page.
Very roughly, the GETARR formula (“the request”) contains the following parameters, all in quotes and separated by comma:
The API url
The path to the parameters to display
The parameters to display
A RapidAPI key
The input to your search
The cell containing the search term (in your sheet)
Portfolio in the news
Aiming to please — let’s make your investor relations/PR guy’s life easy, and track your portfolio’s media coverage. The result will be a sheet that continuously updates with any news mention of each of the companies.
In short: All you need is a new Google sheet and the Bing search API.
In (a bit more) details:
In the RapidAPI website, search for the Bing News Search API, and subscribe to test it.
I use the “GET Search” endpoint to the left — once you choose it, enter a string to search (under “q”) to test the endpoint. Tip — use a popular search here to make sure you get a result (I used Obama!). You’ll need this step to figure out the relevant fields in your response.
Take a look at “Response Body” to the right — that’s where the search results come up and that’s where you can find the relevant parameters you can choose from to display in your sheet. In this case, they all live under “Value” (which will be our path): you can get the name of the article, the url, the provider and more.
Now let’s go back to the google sheet;
The GETARR formula calls for the Bing Search API url (we’ve already established that’s easy to find — to the right under General →Request URL).
The parameters path which is the branch in the response tree of the parameters to display — we already know that’s “Value”.
Now you can choose what you’d like to display; I use name (article title), url, date published and source.
Enter the RapidAPI Key (under “Header Parameters” to your left).
Choose what you’d like to query by; in this case it’s a required parameter (q, the query string) which I enter in cell B2, so your final formula should look like this:
In B2 you can now enter the company/phrase of interest, and if all went well (and if you were searching for TriEye), this is how your sheet should look like:
Piece of cake!
For all you VCs out there, Crunchbase also has an API, start playing