As the number of SaaS companies explodes, so does the need for quality API connectors.
GJ De Wilde’s Apideck, which doubled its MRR from a year ago to $50,000, focuses on helping developers build holistic integrations faster. The CEO and Co-founder, focused on the developer experience, shared his insights on his second time around as a founder with the GetLatka team in a recent interview.
De Wilde shared why he’s waiting to do his next VC round even after a year when Apideck’s growth doubled, what his customers love about his pricing model, and how he got a high $10m+ cap on $1m from his angel investors.
- Team of 10, with 9 engineers
- $50,000 MRR
- $30,000 monthly net burn
- 75 customers globally
- 100 connectors across 9 categories
Codat competitor closes 75 customers through integration instead of segmentation
Contrary to the conventional wisdom of specialized segmentation, De Wilde’s Apideck counterintuitively takes a holistic approach to API integration.
Although he identifies Codat as a competitor, he clarifies that Apideck’s approach differs significantly: “We help your engineers connect to other APIs. But instead of targeting different segments, we are working to be the one holistic provider that solves your integration needs with one unified API player.”
The CEO believes this unified API approach will continue to resonate with his SaaS engineer targets, 75 of which have already become customers.
$10,000 average contract value per customer, from pre-revenue to public companies
Each Apideck customer currently generates an average of $10,000 ARR. The CEO explained how their pricing model is based on the number of API calls plus the number of unified APIs.
What his current customers love most is what Apideck doesn’t charge for: “Customers love us because we don’t cap usage based on how many customers they are linking to integrations. So they can use our building blocks to build any integration workflow.
That helps them solve many different use cases.” Currently, his mix of clients ranges from pre-revenue to public companies across the globe.
$50,000 MRR, up from $25,000 one year ago
De Wilde shared that Apideck’s MRR has doubled from $25,000 to $50,000 in one year. He prognosticated that “We will definitely cross $1m ARR this year.”
The CEO further clarified that he and his Co-founder brother are wholly focused on building a high-growth company, noting, “We are trying to hit the right metrics before going all in on VC money.”
2018 launch for Apideck, current $30,000 net burn per month
Although they are currently burning $30,000 per month, the CEO indicated he has “no concerns at all,” as the company still has cash reserves from the $1m seed round in the bank.
Even during Apideck’s pre-revenue period (after launching in 2018), De Wilde and his Co-founder brother built their foundation by closing a few customers and relying on small investments from a few angels.
“We focused on quality from the beginning so we could accelerate in the last 2 years,” explained De Wilde.
$1m seed round last year from angel investors with $10-15m cap
Last year, De Wilde closed a $1m Seed round from angel investors. What impressed Latka was not the seed round but the cap of $10-15m.
He queried the CEO on how they landed such a high cap. “What charmed our angels was the number of new customers and connectors we shipped with a small team,” replied the CEO. He noted that Apideck currently ships API connectors in 9 different categories like accounting, CRM, e-commerce, and HR.
“We already have over 100 connectors and have delivered 15 in the last 4 weeks,” boasted the Co-founder.
Keeping 100+ Apideck connectors up to date
With some expertise in the area, Latka asked De Wilde how his team keeps all the API connectors current. His answer reflects his vision for growth: “Initially, we invested in ways to automate.
We looked at how other APIs behave, and then we built our own API monitoring solution.” He added, “We can now monitor APIs for changes. This also helps with scaling by ensuring that integrations that our customers rely on don’t break.
Now we can easily scale from the 100 current connectors to 1000-2000 different connectors in the coming years.”
Fulltime team of 10 with 9 engineers
The CEO shared that his small team of 10 comprises 9 engineers and one commercial-focused employee. “We are very technical, but our engineers also do customer support daily, which our customers love.”
He added that the commercial employee focuses on doing more outbound to drive their PLG motion and close larger enterprise customers.
Doubling down on PLG, targeting VC in 1 year
De Wilde strongly believes in his PLG approach. “We have an opportunity with inbound to generate more interest, but right now, we are solely focused on outbound,” he shared.
The CEO added that with the number of SaaS companies exploding, opportunities are growing for Apideck: ”Everyone needs integrations. You’re dead in the water without integrations. You need to integrate with larger platforms like NetSuite and Salesforce. Those companies aren’t going to integrate with you, so you can really benefit from the power of unified APIs.”
He expects to be looking to raise VC in the upcoming year, so they can “invest in the right things.”
$30m question: be acquired or land investors?
Latka pressed the CEO on his estimated valuation, but he remained tight-lipped. Latka then pivoted and closed the interview by asking De Wilde if he theoretically was offered $5m at a $30m valuation or $30m cash for the acquisition, which would he choose.
The Co-founder, without hesitation, immediately replied, “I’d never sell. There’s too much opportunity for us today.”
Favorite Book: CEO De Wilde chose Amp It Up by Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman as his favorite book.
CEO he’s following: De Wilde shared that “although he’s no longer a CEO,” he regularly follows Jason M. Lemkin. “I love his content.”
Favorite online tool: The CEO identified OpenAPI Specification as the tool he and his team rely on most often. “It drives much of our automation,” noted the CEO.
Balance: Although he says it ranges, the 32-year-old says he gets an average of 5 hours of sleep. He has a girlfriend and no children currently.
What does he wish he had known at 20? “You need to have patience. You can’t brute force any problem. You need to wait for the right moment for a certain idea or concept to get traction. Be patient, and then you will get lucky,” the CEO and co-founder advised.