Blobr, a Paris-based startup operating in the no-code space with tech to make it easier for companies to expose and monetise their existing APIs, has raised €1.2 million in pre-seed funding.
The round is led by pan-European pre-seed and seed investor Seedcamp, with participation from New Wave, Kima and various angel investors. Blobr is also the first company to take investment from New Wave — the new European venture capital firm co-founded by Pia d’Iribarne and Jean de la Rochebrochard — since the VC confirmed it had closed $56 million in deployable capital from an all-star lineup of investors, including Iliad’s Xavier Niel, Benchmark’s Peter Fenton and Tony Fadell of Apple fame.
Blobr, founded by Alexandre Airvault (CEO) and Alexandre Mai (CTO), is aiming to become the default “business and product layer” for APIs. This idea is to enable product and business people to manage and monetise a company’s application programming interfaces without technical knowledge or the need to use up more internal engineering resources. And by doing so, the startup believes we’ll see much more innovative use of APIs as commercial data and functionality is made accessible by more third parties to build on top.
“We believe companies should stop thinking of APIs as mere pipes and start building them as products to unleash their power,” says Airvault. “This means APIs should be priced, customized and managed with a user-oriented mindset and not only a tech one”.
To make this a reality, Blobr is designed to empower product and business owners to “make data-sharing a profitable model”, while reducing their dependence on tech. “I believe this approach is what will drive the data exchanges to the next level”, he explains.
Blobr’s no-code technology offers quite a lot of functionality already. From one existing internal API, you can filter confidential information or GDPR-related data; it’s also possible to deliver different API output depending on customer segmentation so you only expose the data that’s needed; and API usage can be linked to usage-based business models or a monthly subscription in Stripe.
Airvault says the startup’s main competitors include API management solutions from Google, IBM, Axway and MuleSoft. “Those platforms are tailored for internal APIs but are not thought of and optimized to manage APIs as products. They are tailored for technical people, whereas Blobr as a no-code solution is built from scratch for product and business people to avoid technical people to be involved in the equation,” he adds.