The API economy refers to the growing ecosystem of businesses, individuals, and organizations that are using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to exchange data, processing, and services. APIs allow different software systems to communicate with each other, enabling the creation of new products, services, and revenue streams.
In the API economy, businesses can expose their data and services through APIs, allowing third-party developers to build new applications and services on top of them. This creates new business opportunities and drives innovation, as developers can use APIs to access data and functionality that was previously unavailable.
For example, a company that has built a database of customer information could expose this data through an API, allowing other companies to build new applications that use this data to provide value to their customers. In this way, the API economy allows businesses to leverage their existing assets and create new revenue streams.
Over time, at Blobr, we have developed a framework to better evaluate the kind of APIs we are dealing with. The framework includes data, service, and processing. Here is an overview of the top 100 companies included in our study.
Top 100 API companies business kinds:
Service companies are selling services via an API. They allow end users to perform some actions. For example, Yousign provides an online signatures service through an API.
Data companies are selling data products. The data can be historical or live. For example, Electricity Maps sells electricity CO2 data.
Processing companies are selling the result of data processing. Open AI is a perfect example.
We have split companies in two categories based on their funding, above $85m and below.
“Data” API companies have, on average, raised less money than other sectors. But, those companies are also younger.
"Service" APIs were the first APIs to be shared. They have been easily reused across many different industries.The next API generation we now see concerns "Processing" and "Data".Such APIs particularly apply to fast growing sectors like AI or IoT. They are bound to have a powerful impact on entire sectors, such as the automotive industry, insurance, banking, etc.
API types for the highest funded half (>$85m funding)
API types for the lowest funded half (between $25m and $85m funding)
In this report we decided to only focus on the top 100 API First companies. We have highlighted the key elements that we believe to be the most relevant criteria for examining the top 100 portals worldwide. Criteria include funding, traffic, or API type to understand the key differentiators and provide insight into the API economy.