Runscope Lands $1.1M From True Ventures And Andreessen Horowitz For Tools That Address The Broken API Plague

Runscope launched at the Glue conference today with $1.1 million in seed funding from True Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz for its tools that monitor API traffic and address the problems with broken APIs. Also participating were Lerer Ventures, and a group of prominent angel investors.

The Runscope tools come as software is scaling everywhere. And with software comes APIs, which are just a natural way to connect services. When web services ruled back in the IT glory age, software integrations were complex and expensive. Today REST-based APIs make it easy to connect apps. The problem is in the complexity of the distributed nature of building them.

Distributed apps have their own code. It may work across on-premise servers and a cloud provider’s network and servers. It will also use the API providers’ set of code and servers of their own.

It’s from this premise that Runscope built its tools. Designed initially for test and development, the tools will be offered for use in production in the coming months.

“The first thing we want to do is to start to give visibility into the conversations an app is having with other services,” said John Sheehan, Runscope’s CEO. This means building a tool that watches the API traffic and makes problems really visible.

“The real true promise is an app that has multiple distributed pieces but acts as one coherent application,” Sheehan said. “We are starting to realize it but the tools are geared toward building old style applications. For example, performance monitoring tools expect thart code issues are happening on your own servers.”

Runscope is built on Amazon Web Services EC2 and programmed in Python. The CTO, Frank Statton, was lead engineer at Twilio. The system is fault tolerant and was built by Ryan Park who comes from Pinterest. Sheehan worked at IFTTT before co-founding the company with Statton. Prior to IFTTT, Sheehan also worked at Twilio as the company’s developer evangelist.

The business model will in part stem from Runscope’s runtime, which generates data about API traffic. That data can be used for business intelligence. There is also the resilience the service can offer for customers and the assurance that mission-critical apps and their APIs can be watched and issues resolved before they become a major issue.

New Relic looks at the issues that Rusncope addresses from a performance standpoint, especially with a mobile SDK. API management providers such as Apigee and Layer7 are also playing in the space.