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Less integrating, more community building: saving €40k on API integrations

Authors
  • Name
    Radek Novotný
    Title
    Co-Founder, CEO
    Social media profiles

Crowd.dev is an early-stage startup with a unique community building and management product for developer-first companies. Their growth and business model are dependent on a large amount of integrations. Instead of spending valuable time of their backend dev team, CTO Joan chose to handle integrations with Superface.

We met with crowd.dev at Web Summit Lisbon 2021, where founders Jonathan Reimer (CEO) and Joan Reyero (CTO) presented their vision of how crowd.dev could help manage developer communities. They are building a community management, growth, and engagement tool, by aggregating and acting on data from platforms where the community meets and interacts.

Crowd.dev’s founders are experts in this field, and have brought their expertise to the web service they offer for community-led companies.

Diagram showing crowd.dev centralizing various data sources, like GitHub, Twitter, Reddit, or Discord, into solutions: Generate leads, drive community adoption, engage members, discover advocates, and reduce support effort

Source: crowd.dev

Dependency on data

Crowd.dev's success relies on the amount of external data they are able to get from third parties. Their business is critically dependent on the amount of integrations. Even expert founders like Jonathan and Joan don't have many options today to handle integrations without having to hire backend developers.

Integration platforms (iPaaS) won't help them, because crowd.dev’s business requires a large amount of API calls which gets prohibitively expensive, as those platforms’ business models are based on the volume of usage.

Initially, Jonathan and Joan were considering the time-consuming and expensive processes of acquiring more development power in order to build integrations from scratch.

Cost and time per integration

Joan (CTO & founder) outlined a roadmap of required integrations that included categories such as: Social Media, Community Portals, Messaging Platforms, Development Tools and CRMs. Each category had at least 5 major players, each with different APIs.

All API integrations need to be prepared and tested thoroughly, as they are critical to crowd.dev business and its scaling. On average, the development of a single bespoke API integration takes 2-4 weeks, and the initial price can easily reach €1500. The price is even higher for mature companies.

In sum, Joan has to budget a minimum of €37,500 and 7 months of development, and that is a painful prospect. Not to mention, these figures do not include the expense of hiring a new backend developer, nor the long-term maintenance of these integrations.

Programming of API integration in 2022 Cost
Developer cost (Europe) €6,000 / month
Time to develop one API integration 1–2 weeks of development
Cost of one API integration (medium complex API like Twitter) €1,500–€3,000
Maintenance of one API integration €1,000 / year

Simply put, integrations are expensive, don't scale, but at the same time, are essential to running crowd.dev’s business.

Fewer developers and more integrations

We provided Joan with a number of ready-to-use integrations in the form of Superface use cases, which give applications the capability to integrate autonomously. They were developed in Comlink, an open-source language we created specifically to make API integrations easier, faster, and more scalable.

However, Superface didn't support Twitter nor Discord at that time. Our Customer Success team has therefore developed these integrations and published them in the public catalog, meaning other companies can use them for free as well. It should be noted that both Discord and Twitter have a complex API, which most developers struggle to properly integrate. Thanks to the technology we have developed, it took a fraction of the effort and cost compared to the conventional method.

Thanks to Superface, the team can focus on building features rather than integrations, and we do not need to hire a developer just for talking to APIs.

Joan Reyero, CTO, crowd.dev
Benefits of using Superface Cost saving
Saved Developer cost (Europe) €72,000 / year
Time to integrate (ready-made integration use case) few minutes
Time to develop new integration use case 4–8 hours
Cost of developing new integration use case €150–€300

Crowd.dev started using Superface in a test environment, and in production shortly after. Within minutes, they had Superface and relevant integration use cases installed and configured. As of now, Superface records more than 100,000 successful Comlink executions per day.

Chart showing number of Superface use cases executed by crowd.dev per week

Report shows crowd.dev using Superface for 100k+ executions daily

Crowd.dev themselves developed an integration for Slack, and contributed it to the Superface catalog.

[Integrating] Slack was a breeze because we already had Discord, and Comlink is extremely easy to use.

Joan Reyero, CTO, crowd.dev

Superface 💙 crowd.dev

Crowd.dev is developing a product worth checking out. It's currently in a closed beta version for registered users only – you can sign up for crowd.dev waitlist.

The professional approach and expert knowledge of its founders Jonathan and Joan make it a unique solution, whose integrations can now scale without limit, thanks to Superface.

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