From Digital Age to Nano Age. WorldWide.

Tag: API

Robotic Automations

Stainless is helping OpenAI, Anthropic and others build SDKs for their APIs | TechCrunch

Besides a focus on generative AI, what do AI startups like OpenAI, Anthropic and Together AI share in common? They use Stainless, a platform created by ex-Stripe staffer Alex Rattray, to generate SDKs for their APIs.

Rattray, who studied economics at the University of Pennsylvania, has been building things for as long as he can remember, from an underground newspaper in high school to a bike-share program in college. Rattray picked up programming on the side while at UPenn, which led to a job at Stripe as an engineer on the developer platform team.

At Stripe, Rattray helped to revamp API documentation and launch the system that powers Stripe’s API client SDK. It’s while working on those projects Rattray observed there wasn’t an easy way for companies, including Stripe, to build SDKs for their APIs at scale.

“Handwriting the SDKs couldn’t scale,” he told TechCrunch. “Today, every API designer has to settle a million and one ‘bikeshed’ questions all over again, and painstakingly enforce consistency around these decisions across their API.”

Now, you might be wondering, why would a company need an SDK if it offers an API? APIs are simply protocols, enabling software components to communicate with each other and transfer data. SDKs, on the other hand, offer a set of software-crafting tools that plug into APIs. Without an SDK to accompany an API, API users are forced to read API docs and build everything themselves, which isn’t the best experience.

Rattray’s solution is Stainless, which takes in an API spec and generates SDKs in a range of programming languages including Python, TypeScript, Kotlin, Go and Java. As APIs evolve and change, Stainless’ platform pushes those updates with options for versioning and publishing changelogs.

“API companies today have a team of several people building libraries in each new language to connect to their API,” Rattray said. “These libraries inevitably become inconsistent, fall out of date and require constant changes from specialist engineers. Stainless fixes that problem by generating them via code.”

Stainless isn’t the only API-to-SDK generator out there. There’s LibLab and Speakeasy, to name a couple, plus longstanding open source projects such as the OpenAPI Generator.

Stainless, however, delivers more “polish” than most others, Rattray said, thanks partly to its use of generative AI.

“Stainless uses generative AI to produce an initial ‘Stainless config’ for customers, which is then up to them to fine-tune to their API,” he explained. “This is particularly valuable for AI companies, whose huge user bases includes many novice developers trying to integrate with complex features like chat streaming and tools.”

Perhaps that’s what attracted customers like OpenAI, Anthropic and Together AI, along with Lithic, LangChain, Orb, Modern Treasury and Cloudflare. Stainless has “dozens” of paying clients in its beta, Rattray said, and some of the SDKs it’s generated, including OpenAI’s Python SDK, are getting millions of downloads per week.

“If your company wants to be a platform, your API is the bedrock of that,” he said. “Great SDKs for your API drive faster integration, broader feature adoption, quicker upgrades and trust in your engineering quality.”

Most customers are paying for Stainless’ enterprise tier, which comes with additional white-glove services and AI-specific functionality. Publishing a single SDK with Stainless is free. But companies have to fork over between $250 per month and $30,000 per year for multiple SDKs across multiple programming languages.

Rattray bootstrapped Stainless “with revenue from day one,” he said, adding that the company could be profitable as soon as this year; annual recurring revenue is hovering around $1 million. But Rattray opted instead to take on outside investment to build new product lines.

Stainless recently closed a $3.5 million seed round with participation from Sequoia and The General Partnership.

“Across the tech ecosystem, Stainless stands out as a beacon that elevates the developer experience, rivaling the high standard once set by Stripe,” said Anthony Kline, partner at The General Partnership. “As APIs continue to be the core building blocks of integrating services like LLMs into applications, Alex’s first-hand experience pioneering Stripe’s API codegen system uniquely positions him to craft Stainless into the quintessential platform for seamless, high-quality API interactions.”

Stainless has a 10-person team based in New York. Rattray expects headcount to grow to 15 or 20 by the end of the year.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Vorlon is trying to stop the next big API breach | TechCrunch

Application programming interfaces, or APIs as they’re commonly known, are the bedrock of everything we do online. APIs allow two things on the internet to talk with each other, including connected devices or phone apps.

But the enormous growth of API usage — around half of all internet traffic — is putting businesses’ data at risk. A common security risk is granting third parties overly permissive API access. Malicious hackers can leverage APIs to gain access to a company’s sensitive information.

Cybersecurity startup Vorlon says it helps businesses protect their data from such incidents using its platform, and raised $15.7 million to improve its technology.

Founded in 2022 by former Palo Alto Networks executives Amir Khayat and Amichay Spivak, Vorlon analyzes network traffic to detect and remediate potential API abuse in real-time.

In an interview, Khayat said the company’s technology runs the analysis and lets the customer know “something that you need to be notified about and take an action on.”

Vorlon continuously observes a company’s APIs and notifies them when vendors make updates helps to better understand their exposure or potential exposure Khayat told TechCrunch. The founder also noted that alongside detecting vulnerabilities and exposures, Vorlon’s platform looks at the type of data third-party APIs have access to and where that can be connected to other applications.

Vorlon uses AI to analyze and map all the API communication it monitors and translate it into human-readable language. This helps users get a summary of their third-party apps. Vorlon also provides an AI chatbot to let businesses search for information in human natural language about any security threats or issues they have. Khayat said Vorlon doesn’t send chatbot data anywhere; instead, it sends user queries to its own databases, and the chatbot will return the information from the startup’s database.

“In many cases, organizations won’t find out about a vendor’s data breach until months after the fact,” said Steve Loughlin, Partner at Accel, in a statement. “Vorlon’s ability to reduce the timeline between threat detection and remediation to minutes is what makes this technology so powerful.”

Vorlon counts Hubspot, SafeBreach and presales engineering platform Vivun among early customers since the launch of its platform in February. The company says it sees significant demand from the healthcare and financial sectors and targets enterprises with at least 1,500 employees.

The Delaware-based startup, with an R&D subsidiary in Tel Aviv, currently has around 22 employees, and plans to increase that number by adding more people to its sales and product R&D teams using the money from its Series A round, which was led by Accel.

The all-equity round saw participation from Shield Capital and cybersecurity angel investors, including Demisto co-founders Slavik Markovich, Rishi Bhargava, Dan Sarel and Guy Rinat, who worked closely with Vorlon’s co-founders at Demisto before Palo Alto Networks acquired it in 2019. Former Exabeam CEO Nir Polak and Fox Corporation CTO Paul Cheesborough are also key Vorlon investors.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Meta's X competitor Threads invites developers to sign up for API access, publishes docs | TechCrunch

After opening its developer API to select companies for testing in March, Meta’s Twitter/X competitor Threads is now introducing developer documentation and a sign-up sheet for interested parties ahead of the API’s public launch, planned for June.

The new documentation details the API’s current limitations and its endpoints, among other things, which could help developers get started on their Threads-connected apps and any other projects that integrate with the new social network.

For instance, those who want to track analytics around Threads’ posts can use an Insights API to retrieve things like views, likes, replies, reposts, and quotes. There are also details on how to publish posts and media via the API, retrieve replies, and a series of troubleshooting tips.

The documentation indicates that Threads accounts are limited to 250 API-published posts within a 24-hour period and 1,000 replies — a measure to counteract spam or other excessive use. It also offers the image and video specifications for media uploaded with users’ posts and notes that Threads’ text post character counts have a hard limit of 500 characters — longer than old Twitter’s 280 characters, but far less than the 25,000 characters X offers to paid subscribers or the now 100,000 characters it permits in articles posted directly to its platform.

Whether or not Meta will ultimately favor certain kinds of apps over others remains to be seen.

So far, Threads API beta testers have included social tool makers like Sprinklr, Sprout Social, Social News Desk, Hootsuite, and tech news board Techmeme.

Although Threads has begun its integration with the wider fediverse — the network of interconnected social networking services that includes Mastodon and others — it doesn’t appear that fediverse sharing can be enabled or disabled through the API itself. Instead, users still have to visit their settings in the Threads app to publish to the fediverse.

Meta says the new documentation will be updated over time as it gathers feedback from developers. In addition, anyone interested in building with the new API and providing feedback can now request access via a sign-up page — something that could also help Meta track the apps that are preparing to go live alongside the API’s public launch.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Exclusive: API startup Noname Security nears $500M deal to sell itself to Akamai

Noname Security, a cybersecurity startup that protects APIs, is in advanced talks with Akamai Technologies to sell itself for $500 million, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Noname was co-founded in 2020 by Oz Golan and Shay Levi and is headquartered in Palo Alto but has Israeli roots. The startup raised $220 million from venture investors and was last valued at $1 billion in December 2021 when it raised $135 million in a Series C led by Georgian and Lightspeed. While the sale price is a significant discount from that valuation, the deal as it currently stands would be for cash, the person said. The deal is not final and could change or not happen at all.

Other investors who have backed Noname include Insight Partners, ForgePoint, Cyberstarts, Next47 and The Syndicate Group.

While the potential deal price is half the valuation than Noname’s last private valuation, those who invested at the early stage will receive a meaningful return from the sale. Meanwhile, the deal should allow the later-stage investors, particularly those who invested in the last round, to get a full return on the capital they put in, if not the profit that they hoped for during those heady days of 2021 when money was flowing and valuations were optimistic.

The deal values the company at about 15X annual recurring revenue, the person said. Noname’s approximately 200 employees are expected to transition to Akamai if the sale closes. 

Akamai declined comment. A Noname Security spokesperson told TechCrunch, “As a policy, we refrain from commenting on rumors or speculation.”

The Information reported in January that Noname was trying to raise another financing round at a substantially lower valuation. In February, Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported that Noname was in negotiations with several potential buyers, including Akamai.

Many VC-backed companies that raised capital at the height of the tech boom saw their valuations crater after the U.S. Fed raised interest rates. Many are now simultaneously looking for buyers and a new round of funding, known in the finance world as a dual-track process. Meanwhile, many later-stage VCs are looking for liquidity after more than a year of a frozen IPO market. So, the general mood in the venture industry is that, if robust IPOs don’t return soon, it will be bargain shopping time for M&A activity.

Software Development in Sri Lanka