Kable (YC W22) – All-in-one platform for API products

Hi HN! I’m Adam from Kable (https://kable.io). We make it easy to build great API products.

Kable takes care of all of the things that pull you away from your core business – API keys and authentication, usage-metering and billing, invoicing your customers, dashboards for tracking key metrics, evolving pricing to optimize revenue, surfacing usage dashboards to your customers – so you can focus on what’s most important.

Every API developer has to deal with important but unsexy responsibilities like “How will I securely manage API keys?” “How am I going to track which customers are using which parts of my product?” “How am I going to monitor usage of my API, and how can I make that information available to customers?” “Billing is complicated, invoicing is time-consuming, when am I going to find time to automate that?” This is the stuff we take care of.

I led the billing team at Hulu for five years and got a full education in the complexities of billing, payments, and accounting. Before that, I led the security team at Appian for two years, and before that I worked at WePay (YC S09), a payments API company. On a slightly weirder note...I have an obsession with API-first companies. I am fascinated by the rise of the API economy. Twilio for messaging; Stripe for payments; Algolia for search; Segment for data; the list gets longer every year. I have always been fascinated by these companies, wanted to work with them, learn from them, and serve them.

I spoke to hundreds of people building API companies and two themes rang more loudly than anything else: “We are doing X for now but we really want to do Y...” and “We haven’t built Z yet because we just don’t have the time.” These statements were always about the same topics, too: billing, invoicing, authentication, monitoring, analytics. Why was every startup struggling with the same things? I decided the best way to serve this community – a community I love – was to build tools for it all. Kable provides all the infrastructure you’d build in-house if you had all the time you needed.

The truth is, tools already exist for most of these things. So why wasn’t there wider adoption among the startup community? The answer, I learned, is pretty simple: integrating with third parties can be complicated and time-consuming. The key insight for Kable, therefore, is: it has to be trivial.

Kable can be added to any application with just three lines of code: import, configure, execute. We don’t depend on you storing external keys, nor do we require weeks-long technical integration to get onboarded. You can sign up, add us to your API, configure pricing plans, set up invoicing, and visualize your customers' usage through our dashboard – all in about 15 minutes.

Many of our first customers are other startups in our YC batch. They have been able to bring their products to market faster by outsourcing things like authentication. Right from launch they have clear visibility into their customers’ usage patterns. They don’t need to manually invoice their customers, and not only that, but having built on our infrastructure, they’re ready to tune their pricing models to optimize revenue without ever writing a line of billing code. With all this, startups can move faster than was previously possible.

Our pricing is pay-as-you-go based on the volume of events we store and the revenue we help our customers generate. That means we get to dogfood our own software for usage-based billing!

We’d love for you to try it out. You can sign up at https://kable.io and begin using our test environment for free. We require a credit card on file before provisioning live API keys, but the product is fully accessible to new users.

It’s so exciting for me to share what we’ve been working on with the HN community. You are the developers we hope to serve, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever built an API? Ever struggled with pricing? Ever spent one too many hours setting up a dashboard? Ever thought to yourself “I wish I could just focus on my product?” We want to hear your stories. Kable was built for you, so please tell us what you think!



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andrey azimov by Andrey Azimov