Kong Inc.

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Kong Inc.
Type of business Private
Available in English
Founded 2010
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Augusto Marietti (CEO)
Michele Zonca
Marco Palladino (CTO)
Industry Software / Internet
Products open-source tools and cloud services to manage, monitor and scale Application Programming Interface
Slogan(s) Powering API Driven Software
Website konghq.com
Registration Required
Current status Active

Kong Inc. offers open-source platforms and cloud services to manage, monitor and scale Application Programming Interface and Microservices. The main products offered are:

  • Kong, an open-source API and Microservices management solution.
  • Galileo, a platform for API analytics and debugging.
  • Gelato, a platform for the creation of developer portals for APIs and Microservices.
  • API Marketplace, a marketplace for discovering and publishing cloud APIs.


The original product was first developed in mid-2009 in Milan, Italy and first incorporated in the USA, in July 2009 as Mashape, Inc. Founded by Marco Palladino, Augusto Marietti and Michele Zonca, the original project was a mash-up (web application hybrid) platform used to easily aggregate different functions and UI elements from third party products and services. While developing the product for a year, the team dealt with a lot of APIs, and discovered the need to create a unified hub to organize the growing market of APIs. In mid-2010, the team started the development of the first API marketplace. Mashape appeared online in November 2010 as an Alpha product[1] and launched in private Beta in June 2011.[2] Mashape is merging into RapidAPI on May 23, 2017. [3] The company changed its names from Mashape to Kong Inc. on October 16, 2017 to reflect its new focus on the Kong product line.[4]

From Milan to San Francisco[edit]

The team succeeded in raising the first funds in US.[5] Mashape tried for two years to raise venture capital money in Italy from early 2008 to the end of 2009 without any success. Then, Mashape moved to San Francisco, and from the time they met their first investors and got money in the bank, it only took 19 days. The team flew to San Francisco with no connections and few grants and to survive, they lived and worked night and day in other people houses. They changed houses multiple times, and for a short period lived/worked on Mashape in the original Airbnb house/office (it was a small company at that time).[6] After two months, Mashape founders were running out of money and very close to bankruptcy, when they met the people that later became investors. Mashape closed the angel round with less than $2,000 left in the bank.


In April 2010, Mashape received the first $101,000 in angel funding from early employees of the original team of YouTube and Max Sgrelli, the founder of Wave Group, an IT consulting company with over 1,300 employees. Later in August 2011, the company raised $1,500,000 in seed funding from prominent institutional investors[7] including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Index Ventures and various angels including Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors.[8] During mid-2011, Mashape has rejected some acquisition offers to remain independent.[9] Later Mashape closed $8.5M in SeriesA co-led by Index Ventures and CRV, with Stanford University participating.


Mashape appeared online in a private alpha version in November 17, 2010; with only 3 APIs.

In May 17, 2011 the company reached 100 APIs. Mashape moved to private beta on June 2, 2011 while supporting 110 APIs. Three months after, the company reached 200 APIs during the first week of September 2011. As of June 2016 the Mashape Marketplace counts more than 250,000 developers. Kong, launched in 2015,[10] counts more than 40,000 running production instances per month (as of April 2016[11]).

As of 2016 the Mashape offering now consists of Kong for API Management, Galileo for API analytics, and Gelato (acquired[12] in October 2015) for API developer portals.


The Mashape Marketplace platform is built in Java and Play Framework. Kong is built on top of NGINX in C and Lua. Mashape also uses Objective-C, PHP, Ruby, Java (including Android), Python, and Erlang for the generation of client libraries.

Open Source Contributions[edit]

Mashape is a heavy contributor of open source tools: Among the company's efforts to build the API economy we find projects like UniREST, APIEmbed, Mockbin. These projects are maintained by the open source community of API developers on GitHub. On April 28, 2015 Mashape announced[13] the release of KONG, an open-source management layer for APIs and Microservices. Built on top of Nginx and Cassandra/PostgreSQL for delivering high performance and reliability, KONG has been the core project and engine that has powered Mashape's marketplace, a proven technology stack that has been handling billions of API calls over the years on AWS's infrastructure.

Business model[edit]

Mashape offers Kong as an open-source project, while Galileo and Gelato are available as SaaS products. The Mashape Enterprise subscription is the enterprise offering which, as of 2016, consists of Kong + Gelato + Galileo + Enterprise Support available on-premise on in the cloud. The Mashape Marketplace takes a fee on every recurring billing subscription for those APIs that offer billing plans.