Why We Envision a Bright Future for API-led Business Automation


Wally Wang


Business Automation Is an Accelerating Global Theme

API technology provides behind-the-scenes support for many web tools make our lives much easier. It enables us to log in websites using universal credentials like Facebook or Google logons, which saves the hassle of setting up a new account for every website. Travel booking comparisons are also made possible through APIs.  With an autonomous exchange of data and requests, APIs provide users with latest information about hotels and fights. The automated process dramatically reduces the time and human inputs required to integrate data and perform actions.

The way how API works is acting as an intermediary that allows different systems to exchange data and functionality. Through tiny bits of codes or protocols, a system can communicate with another system and request it to perform tasks.  Beyond the consumer space, API also empowers enterprises to automate workflow, boost productivity and save financial costs. Industries like sales/marketing, finance, HR, healthcare, real estate, logistics, ecommerce have leveraged APIs to collect data in a structured way and develop efficient business processes.

Business automation drives improvement in productivity, so it is an indispensable part of digital transformation. Organizations in every region in the world are deploying automation technologies for intelligent workflow.

So, the race is on…

Why We Invested in Nylas

Nylas is a developer API platform that helps enterprises build productivity features directly into their applications. It aims to make the world more productive by delivering productivity infrastructure solutions for modern software. Besides core products like universal APIs for email, calendar, and contacts,  it also offers intelligient APIs with AI & ML capabilities,  powerful scheduling features and embeddable UI/UX components that developers love.

Productivity infrastructure is a brand-new category in the market for API tools. Different from application specific APIs like communication APIs (e.g., Twilio) and payment APIs (e.g., Plaid and Stripe), it is positioned to meet a more universal challenge: how to harness data connectivity and workflow automation to escalate human productivity for every business setting.

·      Twilio streamlines bulk communication via SMS, voice, video and emails by enabling developers to integrate telecom features into applications.

·      Plaid gives developers of financial service applications the ability to connect their apps to users’ bank accounts.

·      Stripe provides online merchants with a unified platform to securely accept and send out payments with custom-built forms.

Nylas, in comparison, is more versatile in the light of its broad set of use cases: data synchronization, email deliverability, smart scheduling, content categorization, optical content recognition, sentiment analysis, and the list goes on. It makes not just one type of tasks (like communication) easier; with capabilities powered by more developer endpoints, it makes work easier for people across various job functions.

There are many reasons why we are deeply impresed by what Nylas is doing. Here are three of them.

1.     Proven Productivity Booster, and Beyond

Nylas’s productivity infrastructure solutions increase the average end-users’ productivity by 20%, which is equivalent to saving an average of one workday per week. Over 700 companies and 50,000 developers have tested out. In addition to enormous reduction in development time, companies also benefit from better digital communication and customer engagement. As a result, the net dollar retention rate and YoY growth in ARR numbers are amazing.

2.     Dual differentiating factors: Data Moat + End-to-End Developer Experience

Nylas sets itself apart from other players in business automation space through two strategic advantages. First, it provides developers with end-users’ interaction data that has both high value and wide breadth of coverage. Second, its white-labeled and configurable UI/UX components offers flexibility to develop applications rapidly. For developer API platforms, the importance of being developer-friendly cannot be overstated.

3.     A Leading Enabler in the Transition to Modern Software Development  

Now cloud-native application architectures are transforming the software landscape. In the past, business functionalities are realized through discrete applications. In cloud-native environments, those applications are broken down into building blocks and connected using APIs.

Nylas’s productivity infrastructure platform revolutionizes the way business applications are built. As a leader in the industry, it spearheads a future for owning the means of software production.

We believe in the potential of APIs to drive business automation and look forward to witnessing a more productive digital economy powered by Nylas.

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