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If you’re building an app that integrates with a number of popular services, wouldn’t you rather write one API than a few dozen? Cloud Elements, a Denver-based startup that is solving this problem, today announced it has raised $25 million in series C funding to expand its API integration platform.
The round was led by Mercato Partners, with participation from existing investors Access Ventures, American Express Ventures, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners, Rally Ventures, and Upslope Ventures. The seven-year-old startup has raised $46.2 million, to date.
Cloud Elements’ platform provides developers and businesses with prebuilt integration of over 170 popular services, spanning fintech, ecommerce, storage, and other industries. The company also offers a product called Element Builder to let third parties add more capabilities to its prebuilt integrations.
In addition, Cloud Elements helps its users and customers with a range of needs — authentication, discovery, search, workflows, error handling, and maintenance. The comprehensive offering “eliminates the need for software teams to build their own integration stack, while enabling them to deliver more unified and expansive experiences to their customers,” the company said.
Cloud Elements cofounder and CEO Mark Geene said a developer could write code for each integration, but the process is clumsy, costly, and time-intensive. “APIs are a great way to make software work together, but developers now have to deal with hundreds or thousands of APIs to automate basic business processes. Point-to-point integration can’t scale to address this challenge,” he told VentureBeat in an email.
A spokesperson told VentureBeat that the company has amassed over 150 customers, including such big names as SAP, IBM, American Express, Western Union, and Xerox, as well as over 10,000 users.
APIs have become a big business, enabling companies of all sizes to quickly add more capabilities to their platforms and explore additional revenue channels. For instance, Google offers Maps for free to users, but it also maintains pay-as-you-go APIs to let companies like Uber and India’s Ola leverage its maps and navigation service.
Cloud Elements is optimistic that the proliferation of the “API economy” will only help it grow its business in the future. The company plans to use the fresh capital to build new features for its platform and expand its sales and marketing operations in the U.S. and Europe.
A growing number of companies exist only to work around APIs. Twilio, which enables third parties to integrate calls and SMS functionality into their own apps, raised more than $250 million before going public on the NYSE in 2016. The same year, Google acquired API management platform Apigee for $625 million. MuleSoft, which went public on the NYSE in 2015, offers ProgrammableWeb, a popular API directory that mostly serves as a database. And RapidAPI, an online marketplace where developers can discover application programming interfaces (APIs), raised $9 million in a series A round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz last year.
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