WireMock Inc., creator of an application programming interface-focused productivity platform for developers, said today it has raised $6.5 million in seed funding.

Today’s round was led by Ridge Ventures and include participation from First Rays Venture Partners, Scribble Ventures and a number of angel investors.

The startup is the creator of WireMock Cloud, a platform for developing and testing software in API-dependent environments. APIs are a set of functions that allow applications to access data and interact with external software components, operating systems and microservices, the components of modern applications. In more simple terms, APIs act as a kind of messenger that relays information back and forth among different applications and servers.

An example of an API includes typing a URL into a web browser and hitting enter. The browser then asks that website’s API to relay information from its server. Another example might be an integrated service, such as when a pizza delivery firm integrates Google Maps into its app so users can track their meal as it’s being delivered. In that case, the mobile app is accessing the Google Maps API.

APIs are a crucial ingredient of most modern applications, but WireMock says developers face many challenges when using them. For instance, it’s difficult to build software that interacts with APIs. Using APIs can often be expensive, many of them don’t provide the full range of responses or functionality developers require, and they can’t handle the load required for testing at scale.

Very few API providers offer a sandbox for testing, and if they do, they tend to be unreliable and slow. Moreover, developers often find themselves needing to integrate with internal APIs that don’t yet exist, leading to bottlenecks for front-end teams trying to develop in parallel with back-end developers.

As WireMock co-founder and Chief Executive Uri Maoz explains, it’s almost impossible to create integrated software today without consuming multiple APIs. “But building, testing and maintaining that software shouldn’t have to rely on live APIs or inadequate sandboxes from multiple companies, not to mention underdevelopment of internal APIs,” he said. “That’s a terrible model and it makes development slow, expensive and frustrating.”

WireMock Cloud is aimed at solving many of these issues, giving developers an easy way to simulate third-party and internal APIs quickly, safely and reliably. It simulates APIs using their OpenAPI specification, by recording their traffic and through the use of a software development kit. It can even simulate nonexistent APIs that are still under development, the company said, allowing different developer teams to keep up with one another.

“WireMock frees developers and QA teams from their dependence on live or unimplemented APIs, so they can build and test connected applications with freedom and confidence,” Moaz said.

WireMock Cloud is based on the open-source API mocking tool WireMock, created by the company’s other co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Tom Akehurst. The open-source WireMock now has 200 contributors and 4 million monthly recorded downloads, and is being used by more than 3,000 other projects.

“I built the WireMock OSS because I knew there had to be a better way for developers to develop in an environment where so many API dependencies were holding them back and slowing their delivery,” Akehurst explained.

WireMock Cloud incorporates the open-source WireMock and bundles additional developer productivity features, and is available with free, team and enterprise tiers. Already, the startup has secured “hundreds of paying customers,” including firms such as Bilt Technologies Inc., OVO Energy Ltd., Jumia Group and Epay Global Ltd.

Ridge Ventures Partner Akriti Dokania said that when it comes to investing in startup, normally there’s a lot of guesswork around assessing the market and its needs. But he said there was no need to guess when it came to WireMock. “The impressive customer base proves they’re filling a growing need,” he said. “With API use exploding, WireMock’s approach, allowing companies to simulate APIs robustly, accurately and quickly, is the winning formula that software engineers need.”

WireMock plans to use the funds from today’s round to build a dedicated go-to-market team for the U.S. and expand its engineering team. Ultimately, it wants WireMock Cloud to expand and cover more of the API lifecycle.

Images: WireMock

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