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The rise of API-first companies, in fintech and beyond

It's not just in fintech that API solutions are on the rise – and helping solve a great range of problems.

  • Posted on 18th Jun, 2022 17:33 PM
  • 1159 Views
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API-first companies aren’t a new thing, but I have been paying more attention to them since TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, where I moderated a panel conversation with Plaid CTO Jean-Denis Greze. Plaid is a fintech company, yes, but it’s not just in fintech that API solutions are on the rise — and helping solve a great range of problems. — Anna

Tracking API-first companies

I was going to take a stab at defining API-first startups, when I noticed that Alex already had. And since it’s no easy feat, I’m going to keep the same scope: What I am talking about today is “any startup that either delivers its main value proposition via an API — Twilio, say — or is built to use APIs to facilitate a particular data transference — AgentSync, etc.”

The definition above comes from a post on the index of API-first companies launched by GGV Capital, a multistage VC firm whose areas of interest include “finding the most promising developer-first software companies commercializing APIs.”

GGV’s thesis on API-led startups already led the firm to back Authing, Pinwheel, Mindee, Stream and Agora, the latter of which went public in 2020. And outside of GGV’s portfolio, API-focused Auth0 was acquired by Okta for a whopping $6.5 billion, giving the firm yet another reason to track other private companies using a similar approach.

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