Software development has become essential to various business models; and as such, developers and organizations are constantly looking for ways to make building tech products easier. As a result, the market for software development tools is growing. GitLab, an open-source code repository and collaborative software development platform, went public in October 2021 and closed its first day of trading at a market capitalisation of nearly $15 billion.
Digital business transformation initiatives have also led to an increase in the adoption of APIs. In a survey conducted by RapidAPI, 61% of the 2,200 software developers reported relying on APIs in 2021 more than they did in 2020. 68% of them expect to rely on APIs even more in 2022.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate. For example, e-commerce companies have to integrate with payment platforms, on the one hand, to ensure that customers can pay online; and then also integrate with delivery platforms to get the products to the customers. These platform integrations are done through APIs.
For companies building APIs, webhooks are a core infrastructure component. Webhooks are automated API responses without the request. A webhook is triggered by events within an application, and then communication is initiated based on that event. For example, if a customer pays for a product through a fintech platform, a webhook is triggered that tells the application to reduce the customer’s wallet balance. With web services becoming increasingly interconnected, webhooks form a lightweight solution for enabling real-time notifications and data updates without the need to develop a full-scale API.
Fintechs present one of the core use cases for APIs. Fintechs use APIs to interact with the servers of banks and other financial institutions to facilitate financial transactions. Because of the importance and sensitivity of financial information, fintech customers want to be notified of any changes that can affect their ability to transact. This makes webhooks particularly important for fintechs, as they provide a means to proactively notify customers of happenings within their apps.
Webhooks are the glue that makes APIs work, and a failed webhooks event has a direct customer impact. A failed event from a payment gateway means a customer can be stuck on a check out screen on an e-commerce website, even after payment has been made because of a glitch in communication. This can lead to customer churn for the website and the fintech providing the payment gateway because customers deem the product ‘unreliable’.
Prior to the creation of Convoy by Frain, engineers needed to build and maintain webhooks infrastructure components in-house when building their APIs.
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The Future: Frain
Frain technologies, is a Nigerian developer-tooling startup dedicated to building webhooks infrastructure. Their product, Convoy — a cloud-native webhook service that allows developers to push webhook events to their users in a matter of minutes. Frain’s mission is to empower developers worldwide to build and ship applications faster.
Convoy is open-source and can be used by developers worldwide to fast-track their building process. With Convoy, engineers have one less infrastructure component to figure out and can focus on building their product - the API. The infrastructure includes carefully thought out features to enable webhooks delivery at scale as it can be deployed to any environment and events can be sent from any language. Since its launch, the service has received a great reception, with a number of companies using it in production, notably Buycoins, Termii, GetWallets and Dojah.
Frain generates revenue by running Convoy as a managed infrastructure, charging businesses based on their use. Frain is looking to grow and expand its product offering in the coming months, while also increasing the number of clients being catered to. The founders are passionate about open-source and developer tools, and are ready to champion a new crop of startups building global development tools.
The Global Application Development Software Market was valued at $168.71 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $1039.89 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 25.54% from 2020 to 2027. This presents a huge market for founders building software development tools to provide infrastructural solutions.
According to Subomi, co-founder and CEO of Frain, the company is building the next GitLab out of Lagos, Nigeria. For Frain, it is time to build for the world.
Subomi Oluwalana, Co-founder and CEO - Subomi served as a Backend Developer for MKOBO Microfinance Bank, Buycoins, and Tangerine Life before founding Frain. His prior experiences involved building APIs for fintech products.
Emmanuel Aina, Co-founder and COO - Emmanuel is an experienced Frontend Developer whose experience included building solutions across different technology industries from Healthtech to Cryptotech, Investment Banking Tech, Insurtech and Fintech. In addition to consulting for United Capital, Emmanuel had worked with LifeBank, Buycoins and Tangerine Africa before founding Frain.
At Future Africa, we are excited to be a part of Frain’s journey to build the future of Webhook Infrastructure. We welcome Frain’s team to the Future Africa community.