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Open supply API (software programming interface) administration platform Gravitee has raised $11 million — the primary VC funding in its seven-year historical past.

APIs play a pivotal half in trendy software program growth, bringing maps to ride-hailing apps, login authentication to banking apps, customer service to ecommerce apps, and privacy to any app that wishes to guard buyer information. Rising from all that is the API economy, which is powering digital transformation throughout the spectrum and serving to legacy companies transition from monolithic on-premises software to the cloud and microservices-based purposes.

API administration

Firms akin to Tide, Auchan, and “a number of tier 1 enterprise clients” use Gravitee’s core API administration product to regulate how their APIs are accessed, designed, and monitored.

Gravitee exists in an area that features the likes of Tyk; Kong, which just lately raised $100 million at a $1.4 billion valuation; Google-owned Apigee; and Mulesoft, which Salesforce snapped up for a cool $6.5 billion three years in the past.

The worldwide API administration market was pegged at $1.6 billion in 2019, a determine that’s anticipated to rise to greater than $9 billion inside 4 years. With an open supply basis and a spotlight that extends past pure API administration, Gravitee is striving to set itself aside from the group with a extra versatile and customizable providing.

“As an open supply API platform, Gravitee offers companies and their builders unprecedented management and transparency over their total API ecosystem,” Gravitee CEO Rory Blundell informed VentureBeat. “APIs at the moment are business-critical, so extensibility is a key consideration for companies. Totally understanding the code base — and with the ability to contribute to that open supply code to totally align to your enterprise necessities — is a key profit.”

On the prime of the Gravitee tree is Cockpit, a software for monitoring all Gravitee installations from one centralized dashboard. Beneath that’s the open source API manager, which is on the market below a permissive Apache 2.0 license, and the enterprise version, which features a bunch of paid premium options to deliver extra performance to the combo. These embody monitoring and alerts; safety smarts, akin to automated upgrades; a visible API designer; and a market for additional plugins and connectors.

Above: Gravitee: Open supply vs enterprise version

Importantly, Gravitee has additionally added an open supply id and entry administration (IAM) module to its product suite that permits companies to simply combine with a number of establish suppliers and customise their software’s sign-in expertise. Blundell says that is designed to cement Gravitee’s place as “the one next-generation API platform with each API administration and id and entry administration.”

Above: Gravitee: Combine with a number of id suppliers

This successfully pits Gravitee towards different notable gamers from the IAM area, akin to Auth0, which Okta recently acquired for $6.5 billion, and the open supply different Keycloak. However Blundell doesn’t essentially see them as direct opponents.

“We’ve changed Auth0, Keycloak, and different IAM options at a few of our clients, so we do compete with them, however this isn’t our major market,” he stated. “Our entry administration providing is concentrated on augmenting API-based experiences with next-gen safety — as an example, with built-in facial recognition authentication assist.”

In different phrases, Gravitee desires to distinguish itself from each proprietary and open supply rivals by serving as an all-in-one API administration and IAM platform corporations can use to authenticate and authorize customers.

The story thus far

Gravitee was based out of Lille, France in 2014 by 4 cofounders who had been working with French retailers to develop API implementation methods. However they quickly realized there wasn’t a sufficiently versatile enterprise-grade open supply API platform for the duty.

“The accessible platforms had been massively costly, didn’t have the required options, and had been largely primarily based on older applied sciences,” Blundell defined. “Recognizing the dimensions of the market — and the potential for a genuinely good product — the Gravitee cofounders determined to create Gravitee and construct one.”

Whereas all 4 cofounders are nonetheless concerned with the corporate, Blundell was introduced in final 12 months as the primary worker to not come from a purely engineering background — and he finally went on to exchange Nicolas Geraud as CEO.

“Given the broad ability set required to carry out the CEO function, the choice was taken to assist understand the potential of progress within the enterprise,” Blundell stated.

In its seven-year historical past, Gravitee has managed to achieve profitability whereas totally bootstrapped — so why increase funding now?

“The market is accelerating, and to maximise the imaginative and prescient Gravitee has of being the worldwide category-leader for easy management of the API ecosystem requires important funding in engineering, advertising, and gross sales,” Blundell added.

The corporate’s collection A spherical was co-led by AlbionVC and Oxx.

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