Connecting the World’s Software — Chapter 1
I am delighted to announce that we have recently finalized RapidAPI’s first formal investment round, led by Martin Casado at Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from FundersClub, SV Angel and Green Bay Advisors. With the new capital we have raised, we will be able to help more developers find and connect to APIs to create new software experiences.
We now live in a software world
Software has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives. We don’t drive — we take Uber. We don’t go the the store — we use Amazon or Instacart. Factories don’t log their inventories — they use an ERP driven by a connected set of sensors. The biggest innovations in recent memory were powered by software, and with most people and industries using hundreds of pieces of software every day, there is no turning back.
But while everything is in software and online, these different pieces of software are working separately, not together. The reality in this software-driven world is that software operates in silos in a disjointed manner. It’s nearly impossible to share data, and for apps to work in concert with one another. For example, my GPS app is connected to the web and knows when I’m on my way home, but it can’t tell my internet connected Nest thermostat to turn on the AC. A CRM can predict a company’s sales volume, but the ERP cannot automatically use it to order raw materials. The information already exists, and we feel there’s a tremendous opportunity to connect that information in a safe and valuable way.
It’s 2016, and it’s time software talks to each other.
Most of the software people use every day allows access through an API, letting developers connect to it. However, every API uses a different set of formats, standards and protocols — essentially a different language. ‘Translating’ these languages is rough, and for a developer connecting to 100s of APIs, it an be an impossible mess to navigate. Moreover, this problem becomes even greater as more APIs are created and new formats are introduced. This is terribly inefficient and disjointed, and it means developers spend more time on ‘translation’ and less on developing. We can do better.
Initially, we launched RapidAPI as an open source project — a collection of API wrappers giving developers unified API access. Over time, we’ve seen over thousands developers use the platform to discover and connect software in new ways. We’ve witnessed true inter-app connectivity that has yielded amazing new experiences for people. Gone are the days of fragmentation developers — welcome to the Era of the API!
Since releasing RapidAPI in private beta, we have seen tremendous adoption. Over 25,000 developers have used RapidAPI to explore and connect with over 200 APIs. We have even seen interest from enterprise companies like eBay where developers understood the powerful potential of internal APIs and brought them in-house. We’re excited to now make the RapidAPI platform public and make APIs accessible to any developer in the world.
Partnering with Andreessen Horowitz to Fund Our Next Step
As developers ourselves, we realized the pain of the API location and connection process and the enormous opportunity that can exist if we help to solve it. In setting up RapidAPI, we knew we had to do two things out of the gate:
- Create a platform that connects to as many APIs as possible.
- Get this platform in the hands of developers as quickly as possible.
In building a platform for the future, it was important that we think about the right team to make this vision a reality. We were fortunate enough to meet with Martin Casado and Ben Horowitz at Andreessen Horowitz, and instantly knew that we’d found the perfect partner — one who shared our passion for software and could help us accelerate our growth plans.
It’s time for software to start talking to each other, and with this newly raised capital, we plan to keep working on our mission: to help developers find and connect to more APIs, quickly and easily. We have expanded the product team so that it’s now faster than ever to find and test those APIs. And now, we are doing everything we can to help developers unleash the potential of APIs.
As we move forward and grow the company, RapidAPI will continue to be free and open source, with no strings attached. It’s important that we continue to help developers use technology in new and valuable ways, and to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
By connecting the different dots between the millions of applications that are already out there, developers can add exponential value on top of preexisting data and functionality. I’m incredibly excited about living in this interconnected world, and we’ll keep providing developers with the tools to get us there.