Startups

To Help Developers Get A Grip On APIs, Stoplight Raises $3.25M

Stoplight, which describes itself as an an online platform that helps developers build, test, and improve their web APIs, has raised $3.25 million in seed funding that it plans to use toward the hiring of engineers and product development.

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The infusion brings Stoplight’s total funds raised to $4.65 million since its 2015 inception. Bill Wood Ventures led the latest round, which also included participation from NextGen Venture Partners, Next Coast Ventures, Social Starts, and Capital Factory. Bill Wood is a co-founder of Austin Ventures and the founder of Silverton Partners.

Stoplight Founder and CEO Marc MacLeod started the company out of his garage in Venice Beach, Calif., after consulting for a number of companies.

“They had come to me with a lot of undocumented and untested APIs, many of which were done overseas,” he told Crunchbase News. “So I developed a small set of tools to help me analyze them for my consulting to help developers to seamlessly build, test, and manage APIs.”

For those who aren’t developers, application programmable interfaces (APIs) allow multiple programs to work together on the Internet. For instance, a startup that uses Facebook as a login to its app leverages Facebook’s APIs to offer that service. Stoplight describes itself as a single “source of truth” to manage all of these APIs under one umbrella, and it claims to do so in a seamless and secure manner.

After a former colleague shared his API management tool on Product Hunt, MacLeod was invited by Techstars to interview for its accelerator program. Ultimately, he moved to Austin to start the Techstars program in 2015.

“I came out with the intention of eventually going back to L.A. but Austin is a great city, and I hired my first employee here,” he said.

Today, Stoplight has 11 employees and MacLeod expects to hire five more by year’s end with the latest round of funding. The startup also plans to continue building out its product in response to demand from enterprise customers.

Speaking of customers, Stoplight said it has more than 500 in a wide range of industries. They include Zendesk, Deutsche Bank, Honeywell, and Blackboard.

“Almost every mobile app and website is powered by an API,” MacLeod said. “Our mission is to make every API stakeholder more productive and streamline developers’ workflow.”

Since the end of last year, Stoplight has seen its revenue grow by about 200 percent, according to MacLeod.

“We put a lot of effort into making our products scalable in large enterprises, since many don’t want hosted solutions,” he said. “Now they can have one installed in their data center.”

In raising money, MacLeod said he was preferential to Austin-based firms or firms that had a presence here.

“We had options outside of Austin on the West Coast, but this group of folks felt like the right investors for our space,” he said.

Jon Bassett, managing partner at NextGen Ventures, said that with the proliferation of microservices, new tools are needed to manage API workflows.

“Stoplight is the leader in this field,” he said in a written statement.

Mike Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures, in a written statement, said that Stoplight’s product “is changing the game for the API lifecycle, making it more efficient, accurate, and easier to access across an enterprise.”