Mergers & acquisitions

Apigee Adds to API Arsenal

Mobile application programming interface (API) vendor Apigee Corp. announced Wednesday it will acquire startup Usergrid, which provides developers with APIs tied to data and user management.

Usergrid CEO Ed Anuff, who will be joining Apigee's leadership team, says its cloud-based, mobile app backend server can reduce the cost of developing mobile apps by up to 80 percent.

"If you free up the developer to not worry about user management, they have more time to focus on the app they are building themselves and that leads to faster monetization, faster time to market and a nicer, cooler app more people adopt," adds Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor.

Terms of the deal were not discussed, but Kapoor says this is the first of many planned acquisitions for the eight-year-old company.

Why this matters
This acquisition is aimed at making app-building faster for developers and enterprises, but it could have some interesting implications for wireless operators. Apigee already works with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), helping them expose their network and billing APIs to attract developers to build for their networks. The addition of Usergrid's open-source software expands what they can offer developers from APIs such as location-based services and billing to include APIs like group formation, flexible data plans and content sharing between users, Anuff says.

"[Operators] provide their own core set of APIs that leverage their network services," he adds. "What this is going to do is round those out with a lot of the types of data services that the modern base of new developers need to customize their specific applications."

For more
Wireless operators such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless have been using newly opened Innovation Centers to show off their network APIs and entice developers to build for them. Here's how it's working out:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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