API toolmaker Postdot targets enterprise sales

Investors in Postman also think its focus on individual developers will help it with monetization.

Investors in Postman also think its focus on individual developers will help it with monetization.

Benagluru: Postdot Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the developer of the Postman management tool for application programming interfaces, said that it would start selling its product to large enterprises by the first quarter of next year.

The company has so far been giving its product away for free or selling to small teams, garnering as many as 3.1 million users this way. Postdot did not disclose how many of these are paying users.

The start-up raised $7 million in funding from Nexus Venture Partners last month to enable it to expand its teams.

Globally, companies are increasingly relying on using application programming interfaces (APIs) to access services instead of building every single component of a software product themselves. APIs allow applications to ‘talk’ to each other, exchange certain information, while keeping some information private.

According to a 2016 developer survey by research firm Forrester, about 48% of global developers said their organizations are currently using APIs internally and an additional 15% are planning to do so by mid-2017. This makes APIs crucial in modern software development.

But the process of building and maintaining the changes made to the APIs was not a very efficient one, said Postdot chief executive officer Abhinav Asthana.

That’s where Postman’s tools come in as developers can use them to make their workflows easier and more effective, Asthana said.

There are many companies in India that operate on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and sell to large enterprises based in the US and elsewhere. Most such SaaS companies have large enterprise sales divisions, usually based in the US. This is also one of the biggest investment areas for such companies. But Postman’s strategy will be different. It will not have such a large sales team as its products are already used by developers within companies, taking away the need to convince enterprises of the usefulness of their products.

“The interest in an enterprise version has primarily been inbound. We have large companies coming to us and asking if we have a version for them. They usually require security features, ease of billing and service level agreements, so we’ll have all that for the enterprise version,” said Asthana.

The company will add more people in its US offices in the marketing and customer success divisions. It currently has about 25 employees in its offices in Bengaluru, Austin, and San Francisco.

“In terms of company structure, at this point we don’t see a dramatic change and we don’t see that there’s a big leap and transition. If Postman were not there in front of millions of developers, this would be really different, but it is,” Asthana said.

Investors in Postman also think its focus on individual developers will help it with monetization.

“Postman is intrinsically developer-first by design. Postman’s adoption till date has been purely organic and significantly higher than that of any competition. We do not have any plan for feet on street sales team in near future. Crux will be to keep innovating and provide value that developers love and use on a daily basis,” said Jishnu Bhattacharjee, managing director of Nexus Venture Partners, in an emailed response.

Postman competes with solutions from firms like Apigee and IBM which offer additional services around APIs. The broad API management solutions market is estimated to grow from $140 million in 2014 to $660 million by 2020 in the US alone, according to Forrester.


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