API usage is increasing considerably in this 21st century.
In fact, APIs are one of the truest forms of digital products that can be designed to be reliable, fungible, and reproducible.
It must be created in a standard, consistent, and compliant manner. APIs must also come with sample codes and clear documentation that can guide developers well.
So, if you are a developer or a business that has just completed building your well-designed API that solves key problems in a niche and works effortlessly, what next?
How would you make profits out of it?
How to sell your well-crafted API?
An API marketplace is a good option!
You don’t need to build a website just for the sake of selling your API or integrating a payment processing system on it.
All you need is to list your API in an API marketplace and let them handle the rest.
This is why both developers and enterprises are using API marketplaces to sell their APIs, reach their target audience, and increase their revenue.
This article will serve as your guide to exploring the idea behind API marketplaces and how to leverage them to sell your APIs.
What Is an API Marketplace?
A marketplace that brings API buyers and sellers together in one platform can be referred to as an API marketplace. An API marketplace comes with various components that include the provider portal and developer portal.
This platform allows API providers (developers or businesses) to list their APIs while buyers (other developers) can view the APIs and buy them.
To make this simpler, think of an API marketplace like an eCommerce website such as Amazon.com or a brick-and-mortar marketplace. If you want to sell your ebook, you can list it on Amazon, where book lovers can view it and buy it if they like it.
Similarly, an API marketplace allows an API provider to list their APIs and monetize them by offering various subscription plans. This part of the API marketplace can be called the provider portal. The marketplace can take care of user management, payment system, code snippets, documentation, and test the market without investing in an API Gateway.
Similarly, the API marketplace also helps developers as buyers to find APIs with effective search capabilities, collections, and categories. You can call this component the developer portal. They can even compare APIs, view endpoints, pricing, and other details to buy the one that’s the best fit for their needs.
The Difference Between API Marketplace and API Portal
API Portals are either created using a template for API management products or custom developed. Usually, they are deployed by only one API provider and allow developers to integrate, understand, and deploy the API. It aims to deliver documentation together with specifications, including tutorials and features. They also let developers onboard securely with the provider through OAuth credentials or API keys.
Many providers still use these portals, but API marketplaces became the most prevalent in recent years.
Now, developers or publishers don’t have to rely only on API portals with limited APIs, pricing plans, and benefits.
It’s because API marketplaces aggregate many API providers and showcase their products in a single panel. Hence, it will give your API wider exposure in the market where thousands of potential buyers can view your API and possibly buy it.
It also helps developers who are constantly searching for resourceful APIs to have lots of options and pricing plans to choose from.
Hence, it’s a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. 😎
Do you still need more motivation?
What Are the Benefits of an API Marketplace?
For API Providers:
- The wider exposure increases your user base
- It helps you measure the current market demand
- Provides an interactive forum where publishers can receive feedback regarding their APIs from developers in usability, performance, etc.
- Scope of improvement
- API providers can get all the education guide on how to publish their APIs along with online events
- Finding APIs becomes easier with lots of choices, categories, price ranges, etc.
- They can quickly browse to see all the available APIs currently with their features.
- Consumers can also find successful API by rankings, statistics, and tables
- Forums enable them to check reviews of an API by other developers, which helps them to choose a quality API
- Online events, educational guides, and documentation help them use the API effectively
Now, let’s talk about some of the best API marketplaces where you can sell your APIs.
Market and showcase your API on the largest and most loved API marketplace of RapidAPI. It helps you list your API, manage it, and monetize it easily.
Add your parameters and endpoints in minutes using their simple UI and upload Swagger spec to accelerate the process more. Interactive documentation gets created automatically after uploading the API, which allows the consumers to test the API in a browser and use it in one click.
RapidAPI offers code snippets in different languages, making it simpler for users to integrate your API within their applications. You don’t have to worry about security anymore as RapidAPI validates each API request. It assigns API keys to each user for easier user management and quick setup.
You can track performance and get detailed insights into API trends and usage on the dashboard. Add your API by choosing a flexible pricing model and defining pricing tiers that are best suitable for you. They also help you reach unlimited users for no extra charge and take care of invoicing and billing for your global customers. You can avail of 80% of profits in every transaction.
APILayer, a cloud-based SAAS and API provider, launched its API marketplace in February 2022. This was coupled with its acquisition of Prompt API, a platform for developers to monetize their APIs.
As of this writing, there are 75+ API products to choose from, with new ones constantly being added by the day.
One can partner with APILayer to get exposure to a broader customer base, assistance in key management, payment collection, etc. Basically, you’ll be creating APIs while APILayer handles the rest.
The process for listing an API starts with submitting the details for a review, following the discussions about the project along with the payout and pricing details.
Up next, APILayer gears up for a technical assessment to see if the API meets its quality standards. Finally, the API is listed on the marketplace if it ticks all the checkboxes.
APILayer gives total freedom to price your products and self-host or choose them for hosting. In addition, any company or individual can partner with APILayer.
Payouts are monthly, and you’ll be sharing 15% of revenue with APILayer.
Rakuten is a popular API marketplace with 1 million+ developer across the globe. They help you manage, market and sell your API without any difficulties.
With the simple and fast integration, you can add your parameters within a few minutes or try uploading swagger specs. It generates docs automatically to help users test the API from any browser and start using it instantly.
Integrate your API with the users’ application through code snippets that are available in multiple languages. You will receive detailed analytics of performance and insight into your API and set up everything quickly with a secure key. Furthermore, Rakuten RapidAPI also authenticates all the requests.
It manages your invoicing and billing and helps you scale to unlimited API calls at no extra cost. Choose your plan according to your requirement that can be either pay-as-you-go or subscription-based. They charge a 20% monetization fee for every transaction.
One of the most extensively used completely managed services is Amazon API Gateway. Developers can easily construct, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.
Traffic management, authentication, access control, monitoring, and API version management are all handled by Amazon API Gateway to receive and process hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls.
You only pay for the API requests you get and the data that is sent out; API Gateway has no minimum fees or setup costs. You may develop and manage APIs that access backend services, such as Lambda functions or Amazon DynamoDB tables, using API Gateway.
Its features include:
- AWS offers comprehensive advice on how to connect with your customers.
- Delivery of software such as AMI, SaaS, containers, etc., is simple.
- AWS handles backend tasks, including billing and payment processing.
- Can grow business by partnering with consultants.
AWS Marketplace is accessible to buyers (subscribers) and sellers (providers). Anyone with an AWS account can utilize the AWS Marketplace as a buyer and sign up to sell on it.
I hope these API marketplaces help you find potential customers for your APIs, sell them without trouble, and improve your products to continue making huge profits.
Next, explore how to monitor your APIs.