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July 28, 2022

New API Business Ideas


There are several approaches you can take when creating an API business. You can sell the raw data that you provide through an API, provide data insights, or use the API as a data processor.

Here are some API startup ideas:

raw data

  • • recipes/cooking data
  • • weather data
  • • historical info
  • • plants or animals info
  • • sports results or player data
  • • games or cards information
  • • music or movies information
  • • location info (cities, must-see locations, etc.)

data insights

  • • trends of any kind (sports, city growth, housing prices,...)
  • • sentiment analysis (social media, markets, election predictions,...)
  • • filters/aggregators (finding lowest cost item across many platforms)

data processor

  • • data validators (email, phone, address, etc.)
  • • notification senders (email, social media posts, etc.)
  • • text to speech (and speech to text)
  • • grammar check and text translation
  • • image processing (applying filters, cartoonifying, edge detection)
  • • text processing (automatic tagging, article clustering)
  • • unique art generator (popular with NFTs today)

API Business Model

This business model uses an API monetization strategy, which means the data is delivered through the API in exchange for monetary compensation. And developers would rather pay a small fee for this API than reinvent the wheel.

Basically, this means API is a higher-level business. Regular app businesses need to consider one business model and one customer segment. While you, as an API business owner, need to consider all the potential apps that could be built on top of your API.

The good news is you know that developer time is very expensive, and businesses will look for a way to do things quickly and efficiently. That is why all these coding frameworks exist: they save time. And if you work towards how your API can save time for many people, you'll be on the right track.

How To Start API Business?

To start an API business, you must first identify your available data. Then you need to investigate whether customers are interested in that data. Lastly, build an API and sell it through the API marketplace.

The best part is - that the API business is one of the rare businesses you can create from start to finish in one day. This also makes it an ideal project for hackathons where speed and delivery are essential. Naturally, once you start getting customers, you can continuously improve and grow your business further. But the ability to launch it in record time is paramount.

Building An API Business

Any business or individual has some data or knowledge that could be monetized if it was nicely packaged in an API. Formula is simple: data + easy-to-build API + API marketplace = API business.


The most challenging part of an entire process is building an API. But there is one tool that allows you to create APIs:

  1. 1) Quickly
  2. 2) From your browser
  3. 3) Automatically deployed and working
  4. 4) Production-ready setup out of the box
  5. 5) Scales from one to a million users (and beyond)
  6. 6) Automatically builds API endpoints for you

All you need to do from your side is to define database tables, which is very simple, and you can do it in a few mouse clicks (no coding required). Plus, you provide the data. And your API is done.

This tool is called 8base, and we encourage you to try it (for free) right away.


If you have any kind of business or just a website, you already have a lot of data that others might find helpful. Data is not limited to your business because your hobbies might also be an excellent source of data (sports, gaming, stamp collecting).

In case you really don't have any data, we encourage you to read an article on how to monetize data sets that are publicly available. Data is everywhere today more than ever, and not having data should not be a blocker for building your API business.


Now, all you need is a place that allows you to easily connect to your API and set your pricing options. There are several options on the market, but RapidAPI is the biggest marketplace and probably the safest bet for your business.

It allows you to set up everything through your browser and launch your brand new API business in no time.

Top API Startups

Here is the list of most successful businesses that used APIs as their key to growth. This list doesn't include the latest "hot" startups because a lot of them come and go. And there is much more to learn from those more mature startups that stayed, scaled, and became household names.


This is a prime example of doing everything possible to make it easy for developers. And if it was easier and faster for developers to implement, then the entire website/project was cheaper to execute. On top of that, it was more reliable, and developers didn't have to reinvent the wheel whenever they needed a payment processor.


Now, this is one of the oldest API examples because it goes back to the year 2000. And the genius thing they did was to enable developers to embed the listings into their website. So the actual product was listed on eBay, but you could show it on your website. And eBay was just used to handle payments etc. Maybe today, that doesn't seem so impressive, but remember, that was back in 2000 and proved to be a complete success.


This one is pretty much unavoidable for any developer who needs to send an email or SMS. And this is how you know you're on the right track with your API business: when you become unavoidable.

Can the developers send an email themselves for free using just a couple lines of code? Yes, they can. But then you quickly hit a scaling issue. And then you have to reinvent the wheel. So it's simpler and much more reliable to just use Twilio, which is why it's worth billions.

And the same is with the database and APIs. Can they be created without any tools? Yes, they can. But soon, you hit scaling (and other) issues. And you have to be an expert to set up scaling properly and (again) reinvent the wheel. Or, instead, you can just use 8base, which is simpler and more reliable.

The choice is yours.

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