API Management Heats Up: Apigee Follows Mashery With Its Own $20 Million Round

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Well, look at this – only yesterday, API management platform Mashery announced its close of an additional $10 million in Series D funding, and today competitor Apigee is announcing a $20 million round led by new investor Focus Ventures. Also participating in the round were existing investors Bay Partners, Northwest Venture Partners, SAP Ventures and Third Point Ventures. This API business? It’s hot.

Apigee has been busy this year, acquiring mobile cloud platform Usergrid in January, and just last week picking up the assets and personnel behind the operator-backed Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). It’s also powering that new “print to Walgreens” feature popping up in mobile photo-sharing apps.

The acquisitions point to Apigee’s increased focus on mobile. With a trillion mobile devices soon to be connected to the Internet, Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor says that now “every business – from technology startups to brick-and-mortar giants, needs an API to compete.”

In a recent interview, we asked Kapoor to talk more about his company’s strategy towards mobile. “‘Mobile first’ is what we’re seeing happen in the market, whether it’s for a small two-person shop in San Francisco, or whether it’s for large enterprises,” he told us. “If you’re building a new application, it’s going to be a mobile app. That’s the number one driver for APIs. As websites disintegrate, APIs become the point of control,” he added.

“We’re going to do a lot more to help developers build mobile apps. Our expertise is on the backend, to create very scalable backends. We’ll continue to add things – by the WAC acquisition, we added settlement and customer care,” he says. “We’ll add things like that moving forward, which will be generally available across developer domains, as well as enterprise verticals.”

One of the things Apigee is adding soon is analytics. “That’s a keen interest to us,” Kapoor says. “As people start running their businesses, or measuring their businesses…it’s going to be very important for Apigee to provide what’s going on at the edge of the enterprises,” he says. The new product should debut this summer.

The company is also planning expansion into new markets, ramping up sales and marketing efforts outside the U.S., in Europe and Asia in particular, and opening up offices. This is why Focus Ventures was chosen as lead investor, says Kapoor – because of its ability to help on that front.