The advent and proliferation of APIs has been a major tailwind for startups, allowing them to focus scarce resources on building their core value proposition. According to McKinsey, as much as $1 trillion in total economic profit globally could be up for grabs through APIs’ ability to link technologies and ecosystems.

Iddo Gino founded RapidAPI to present a solution for this growing phenomenon, and today the platform has over a million developers using it.

Viola Growth invested in RapidAPI’s recent Series B financing round, so our partner Natalie Refuah sat down with Iddo to discuss the API economy, how COVID is amplifying it, and how developers today are gaining power within organizations, and much more. 

The API Economy

In a lot of cases, instead of building everything from scratch, developers are putting together building blocks, and stitching them together to make an application. This is what we call the API economy.

The COVID-19 Effect on APIs

Companies need to develop software more quickly [to deal with the increasingly digital COVID world]… and that means they have to rely on existing services and components like open source and APIs.

How Will the API Economy Look in the Future?

There are three overarching trends that we’re seeing within the API world… 1) APIs are becoming a more important design paradigm within the enterprise architecture; 2) The definition of APIs is expanding; and 3) There is more deployment flexibility with regards to APIs.

The Age of the Developers

10 or 20 years ago, a developer would be sitting at a cubicle writing code with the tools prescribed by their managers… Today we have developers in organizations making very large decisions about the types of technology and products that are being developed.

How to Market to Developers

Developers have a very low bar for bullshit… Traditional marketing channels don’t work for them… but they’re very happy to advocate for software and tools that makes their work lives easier.

The Community Approach

We’ve gone for grassroots adoption – having the developers or end-users adopt your software in a self-service or a free model or an open-source model, and then being able to monetize that approach with an enterprise version and selling up.