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Stainless Aids OpenAI, Anthropic, and Others to Develop API SDKs

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 28, 2024

Stainless Aids OpenAI, Anthropic, and Others to Develop API SDKs

Alex Rattray, a former Stripe engineer and University of Pennsylvania economics graduate, has launched Stainless, a platform designed to generate software development kits (SDKs) for APIs across multiple programming languages.

Stainless serves notable AI companies like OpenAI, Anthropic, and Together AI, offering an automated solution to the labor-intensive process of SDK creation. With a recent $3.5 million seed investment from Sequoia and The General Partnership, Stainless aims to streamline API integration and enhance developer experiences, positioning itself as a significant player in the tech ecosystem.

Rattray’s Journey from Stripe to Startup Innovation

Rattray’s journey into tech began during his college days at UPenn, where he engaged in various projects, including starting an underground newspaper and initiating a bike-share program. His interest in programming led him to Stripe, where he contributed to revamping API documentation and launching the system that supports Stripe’s API client SDK. It was during his tenure at Stripe that Rattray identified the scalability issues associated with handcrafting SDKs for APIs.

Stainless was born out of Rattray’s observation that traditional methods of SDK generation were inefficient and could not keep pace with the demands of modern API development. The platform utilizes a generative AI to create an initial configuration for SDKs, which can then be customized by clients to suit their specific API needs. This approach not only saves time but also ensures consistency and up-to-date functionality as APIs evolve.

Enhancing API Integration with Stainless’s Technology

The significance of SDKs lies in their role as essential tools that complement APIs. While APIs facilitate basic data transfer and communication between software components, SDKs provide the additional resources needed for developers to integrate and interact with APIs more efficiently and effectively. Stainless addresses the common challenges faced by API companies, such as:

  • Maintaining a team to build libraries for new programming languages
  • Ensuring the libraries remain consistent and up-to-date
  • Reducing the workload on specialist engineers who make constant changes

Despite competition from other API-to-SDK generators like LibLab and Speakeasy, and established open-source projects such as OpenAPI Generator, Stainless claims to offer more polish, especially beneficial to AI-focused companies. This edge has attracted a diverse clientele including tech firms like Lithic, LangChain, Orb, Modern Treasury, and Cloudflare, contributing to Stainless’s robust growth in its beta phase.

Financially, Stainless operates on a tiered pricing model, with the enterprise tier providing additional services and AI-specific functionalities. The platform allows for free publishing of a single SDK, but charges range from $250 per month to $30,000 per year for more extensive services.

Rattray plans to expand his team in New York from 10 to up to 20 by the end of the year, further scaling Stainless’s impact on the API landscape.

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Featured Image courtesy of Douglas Lopes on Unsplash

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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