UPDATED 07:30 EST / MARCH 28 2019


After landing $43M in funding, Kong wants to become king of API management

Startup Kong Inc.’s latest funding round serves to highlight the massive potential for the application programming interface management services it sells.

The company has just raised $43 million in a Series C round of funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Charles Rivers Ventures, GGV Capital and World Innovation Lab. The round brings Kong’s total funding to date to $71 million.

The Kong Service Control Platform is designed enable end-to-end service lifecycle management, from preproduction to postproduction, to support customers building and managing innovative applications and services, the company says in its pitch.

It’s essentially a management platform that works by exposing services and legacy applications as APIs. It also helps to scale up and secure those APIs as developers rebuild apps on a microservices-based architecture. The platform incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to automate many of its processes.

APIs are the preferred method of exposing data and services when building applications made up of loosely coupled microservices, or application components, in software containers that can be extended across different computing environments. APIs are used to connect different services, making it possible, for example, to book a flight using an app and have that reservation appear automatically in Google Calendar.

APIs are becoming so popular that by 2022, International Data Corp. predicts 90 percent of all new applications will feature microservices architectures. That explains why Kong is able to attract so much cash, because enterprises will increasingly look to automate the development of these kinds of apps. Indeed, Kong has already demonstrated its usefulness, signing up more than 100 paying customers for the enterprise version of its platform, including Yahoo! Japan Corp., WeWork Cos. Inc. and Ferrari N.V.

With the new capital its just raised, Kong intends to become even more useful to enterprises, Chief Technology Officer Marco Palladino told SiliconANGLE. He said Kong’s ultimate vision is Kong’s vision is to deliver a powerful service control platform that intelligently brokers information across all of an organization’s services through end-to-end service lifecycle management.

“We will continue to build out our Kong Brain and Kong Immunity features, which leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer assisted service management,” Palladino said. “We will also extend our pre-production features, such as Mockbin and spec first development tools, to complete support for full service lifecycle management.”

“Modern software is now built in the cloud, with applications consuming other applications, service to service,” said Martin Casado, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We’re at the tipping point of enterprise adoption of microservices architectures, and companies are turning to new open source-based developer tools and platforms to fuel their next wave of innovation.”

Image: Ken Susumpow/Flickr

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