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4/3/2013
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MuleSoft API Efforts Win Salesforce Backing

MuleSoft gets $37 million in new funding from backers including Salesforce.com; touts repository of 13,000 public APIs.

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MuleSoft has established what it expects to be the first complete repository of public APIs, 13,000 of them, in its API registry. As a result, it is becoming known as the world's largest API aggregator and integration hub and has received $37 million in additional venture capital to integrate users of those APIs as a service.

It's the latest installment of big money moving behind API integration efforts. MuleSoft had previously received $44 million in four rounds of funding.

MuleSoft calls its Anypoint platform, comprised of its Anypoint Service Registry, Anypoint API Manager, and new APIkit for building best practices APIs, the basis for the "new enterprise," one that looks beyond its immediate four walls to link up with partners, customers and third-party applications and Web services. Ironically, the lead investor in its fifth round of funding was New Enterprise Associates, which had no say in naming the "new enterprise" theme of MuleSoft's Anypoint announcements.

The APIkit, the Anypoint Service Registry and the Anypoint API Manger "create the blueprint for the new enterprise," said Greg Schott, president and CEO, in an interview before the announcement Wednesday.

The success of its integration efforts can be judged by the second participant in the fifth round, Salesforce.com, at $3 billion the world's largest software-as-a-service supplier, and one whose online applications are frequently integrated with customers' applications through the MuleSoft Anypoint API platform. The platform is also offered as a MuleSoft online service, which it has dubbed CloudHub.

[ Want to learn more about how MuleSoft aids connections between SaaS apps? See MuleSoft's Cure To SaaS Integration Headaches. ]

In one sense, CloudHub is a successor to the point-to-point integrations previously accomplished inside corporate walls by such market leaders as IBM's Tivoli and Tibco Rendevous message buses. The era of enterprise application integration was succeeded by service integration, and now service integration across the wide area network, using automated and standardized connectors that are part of the enterprise service bus (ESB).

MuleSoft has carried the practice a giant step forward by creating a general purpose integration hub, where APIs can be registered and stored and called up when the need arises. About 10,000 companies run their application-to-application integrations via its CloudHub platform, which has the Mule ESB at its core, the lightweight ESB which first established MuleSoft as open source code with the financial services industry.

Many of those 10,000 companies use a lightweight version of the service that MuleSoft makes available for free, but 400 of them are paying customers. They include major financial services, airlines, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, said Schott.

CloudHub runs on top of Amazon Web Services' cloud infrastructure. Its Anypoint Service Registry is priced on a tiered-use model. What a customer pays depends on the number of services, policies and contracts managed by the hub, with typical pricing starting at $12,000 a year. In the days of Tibco and IBM adapters, each adapter/connector piece of software typically cost $12,000 to $15,000. The public APIs are general-purpose, callable-upon-need connectors that eliminate the need to create a custom adapter/connector formerly used to tie the application in your enterprise to another application somewhere else.

"There were about 100 public APIs in 2005," noted Schott. Today there are an estimated 13,000, and MuleSoft "has 98% of them in our registry and repository," Schott said. Connecting into applications that reside with partners, customers or simply with external third-party services on the Web is now crucial to the functioning of modern companies, while it wasn't a few years ago, he noted.

The APIkit and API Registry were released for general availability Wednesday. The API Manager component of the platform was released in beta, with general availability scheduled for later this year.

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