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Gravy, an open source API (application programming interface) management platform, has raised 11 million, the first VC investment in its seven-year history.
APIs play a key role in modern software development, bringing maps to ride-hailing applications, login authentication in banking applications, subscription to customer service ecommerce applications, and the privacy of any application seeking to protect customer data. Emerging from all of this is the API economy, which is powering digital transformation on the spectrum and will help legacy businesses transition from one-stop on-premises software to cloud and micro-services-based applications.
Companies such as Recruitment, UCChan and “Multi-Level 1 Enterprise Customers” use Gravy’s flagship API management product to control how their APIs are accessed, designed and monitored.
Gravity exists in a space that includes Tyke’s choice; Kong, which recently raised 100 million on a valuation of 1.4 billion; Google-owned APG; And Mulsoft, which Salesforce deployed..5 billion dollars three years ago.
The global API management market generated revenue of 6 1.6 billion in 2019, a figure that is expected to grow to more than 9 9 billion in four years. With an open source foundation and focus that goes beyond pure API management, Gravy strives to differentiate itself from the crowd with more flexible and customizable fur.
“As an open source API platform, Gravity gives businesses and their developers unprecedented control and transparency over their entire API ecosystem,” Gravity CEO Rory Blundle told VentureBit. “APIs are now business-critical, so extensibility is a key consideration for businesses. Understanding the code base thoroughly – and being able to contribute to that open source code to fully tailor your business needs – is a key advantage.”
At the top of the Gravity Tree is the cockpit, a tool for inspecting all gravy installations from a centralized dashboard. Below that is the open source API Manager, available under the permissible Apache 2.0 license, and the Enterprise Edition, which includes a set of paid premium features to bring more functionality to the mix. These include observations and warnings; Security smarts, such as automatic upgrades; Visual API Designer; And a market for additional plug-ins and connectors.
Importantly, Gravity has also added an Open Source Identity and Access Access Management (IAM) module to its product suite, enabling businesses to easily integrate with multiple identity providers and customize their application sign-in experience. This is designed to cement Gravity’s position, says Blundell, “the only next-to-pay API platform, both API management and identity and access management.”
This gravity is effectively pitted against other notable players in the IAM space, such as Otta, which recently gained ta 6.5 billion, and open source alternate kicklocks. But Blundell doesn’t see them as direct competitors.
“We’ve replaced Oth0, Kicklock and other IAM solutions on some of our customers, so we compete with them, but this is not our primary market.” “Our management access management is focused on enhancing API-based experiences with next-generation security – for example, with built-in facial recognition authentication support.”
In other words, Gravity seeks to differentiate itself from both proprietary and open source competitors by serving as a prop-in-one API management, and IAM platform companies can use to authenticate and authorize users.
The story so far
Gravity was founded in 2014 outside Lille, France, with four co-founders working with French retailers to develop an API implementation strategy. But they soon realized that there was not enough flexible enterprise-grade open source API platform for the task.
“The platforms available were very expensive, lacked the necessary features, and were largely based on older technologies,” Blundle explained. “Recognizing the size of the market – and the potential for a really good product – the gravy cofounders decided to make gravy and make one.”
While all four cofounders are still associated with the company, Blundell was brought in last year as the first employee who would not come from an entirely engineering background – and he eventually replaced Nicholas Gerard as CEO.
“Given the extensive skills required to fulfill the role of CEO, the decision was made to help understand the potential for growth in the business,” Blundle said.
In its seven-year history, Gravity has managed to achieve profitability when Bootstrap – so why raise funds now?
Blundell added, “The market is gaining momentum, and the ease of control of the API ecosystem requires significant investment in engineering, marketing and sales to enhance Gravity’s vision as a global category-leader.”
The company’s series A round was led by AlbionVC and Oxx.
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