Postman’s Series C Funding and the Future of APIs
I am extremely delighted to announce today that Postman has just closed a $150 million Series C investment round led by Insight Partners along with existing Postman investors CRV and Nexus Venture Partners. This is a huge milestone for the company, but even more importantly, it reaffirms the importance of APIs.
APIs are the building blocks of all modern connected software. As a company, we were founded on the belief that APIs have immense potential to transform every business in the coming years.
The rise of APIs and the need for API-first
How did APIs come to hold such a crucial position in the future of software? It comes down to three tectonic shifts in the industry that have led to the rise of APIs:
- Consumer: The shift from single-device experiences to multi-device experiences has created a skyrocketing need for APIs to power these connected devices.
- Architecture: The shift from monoliths to microservices is made possible only by APIs that provide a way to interact with these services.
- Infrastructure: The shift from on-premise to cloud means that technology teams are building and deploying APIs faster by quickly provisioning cloud stacks instead of endlessly waiting for hardware to be delivered in the data center.
However, the exponential increase in the number of APIs is also creating colossal challenges that legacy platforms are unable to solve.
Postman today has more than 11 million users, and as that number has grown we’ve been engaged in an incredible dialogue with them all along the way. Our customers tell us what they like, what they want, what they do every day, and what they see on the horizon. And they also tell us what’s not working.
We’ve heard stories from countless Postman users about the difficulties they face while working with APIs. These difficulties and challenges have fallen into two main categories:
- Challenges for API producers
- It’s hard to produce reliable and high-quality APIs
- Development tools are disconnected
- Lack of governance over or visibility into the API landscape
- Challenges for API consumers
- It’s hard to get started with an API
- APIs are difficult to use and often buggy
- Can’t find useful documentation
Over the years, we’ve also gotten a close look at different approaches that organizations take when working with APIs. And we discovered something fascinating: The root of all of the challenges listed above is that companies have generally developed their APIs tactically at the end of the development of a system. We call this the “API-last” approach.
On the other hand, we have seen the best companies following the “API-first” approach. In the API-first scenario, APIs are developed strategically at the beginning of the development of a system. This allows organizations to build more powerful, more effective APIs, and to realize the full power that APIs can deliver. API-first is the new superpower for companies who embrace it.
The API network effect
APIs are everywhere, and so is Postman. The rapid and consistent growth of Postman’s global user community over the years is rooted in a construct we call the “API network effect.” In observing companies that have successfully leveraged an API-first approach, we learned that many of them follow a typical cycle of Postman adoption. This adoption comes in the form of a Postman flywheel that comprises these seven stages:
- Developers use Postman to run, test, and understand an API
- Developers master API development via Postman
- Developers advocate for Postman to be used at work
- Development teams use Postman to build and maintain internal APIs
- Companies encourage cross-functional development and collaboration via Postman
- Companies create and share public APIs through Postman
- Developers discover Postman through these public APIs
The Postman flywheel
This cycle is playing out simultaneously in hundreds of thousands of companies as I am writing this today, with more companies jumping in every day. We are incredibly excited to be helping this growing community of developers and companies across all these stages.
The API network effect works much like social networks: pockets of shared APIs connect teams that have common needs and interests. Within the organization, the more users and teams that are added and connected, the more APIs that are discovered, shared, and utilized. Postman’s API platform makes it easy for users to collaborate on APIs in much the same way that developers collaborate on code with other platforms. Over time, these APIs that teams create will organically spread from team to team and department to department, unlocking data and knowledge-sharing within the organization.
Postman’s vision is that developers and their teams have a phenomenal experience when building and consuming APIs. We want to help you build high-quality APIs and at the same time realize the promise of faster software development with fewer bugs. We want to be there at your side as you embark on your API-first journey.
We’re working hard to do that for you right now, and there’s much more in store in the future: We have a lot of exciting new features and improvements on the roadmap that we can’t wait to get into your hands.
With this new Series C funding, we’re going to accelerate product development and rapidly create all the features and capabilities you’ve been asking for in Postman. To boost that acceleration, we are hiring across all functions and across all our offices. If you’d like to join us on this journey, we encourage you to take a look at our open positions.
The future is here now and it’s powered by APIs.