The 'unicorns' opting for APIs

The 'unicorns' opting for APIs

'Unicorn' companies stand out for their technological nature, so many of them rely on APIs to be more competitive and offer better experiences. Consequently this technology is aiding the service companies you use daily. 

BBVAOpen4U
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21 Jun. 2016

'Unicorn' companies are generally private startups with a market value of one million dollars. There are currently 174 companies of this type, which are available on the Fortune portal.

95% of 'unicorns' use jQuery technology, a JavaScript library that simplifies HTML document management. Many of these companies use Google’s ViewPort technology, which enables content to be correctly displayed on mobile devices. 

Four 'unicorns' that use APIs:

1Uber: an app that puts private drivers in contact with passengers who need to make a journey by car. This service is based on geolocation and mobile GPS to achieve this connection. Uber uses three APIs that allow it to provide  more flexibility to customers, create better experiences and expedite payments:

-UberRUSH: allows it to integrate this API with the payment flow of its app or website and make payments and refunds faster. It provides flexibility to both its customers and the company and keeps its users informed of the various   updates, through notifications and text messages. In addition, customers can track the vehicle's location via a map, which will be available on the website or in the user's inbox. 

- Ride API makes it possible to authenticate user logins. It uses OAuth 2.0 technology to process requests that require permission from an authenticated user. This API also makes it possible to find out the location of users, the        destination they want to go to and what kind of Uber transportation they prefer to do it in, to be able to meet user needs in real time. Within this API there is another: uberPOOL, which makes it possible to share trips and split their cost to be able to share expenses. With this API users can find out the price of their trip in advance. 

-All_trips: this can generate valuable travel experiences for users very easily. It also provides recommendations and suggestions of the places you are visiting, which improves the user experience. 

2. Airbnb: digital platform to rent or book accommodation anywhere. All information is obtained through the users, who are organized in the form of a community where they discuss and comment on the different accommodation. Airbnb uses R packages, which are the basic units of reproducible R code and that are shared through Github, by those trying to find a solution to these three challenges: collaboration and error correction; contributions are subject to analysis and the implementation of new versions to all users. This package consists of four main elements, including a consistent API to move data between different locations in the Airbnb data structure. With this API they have managed to create an infrastructure platform with stable, reliable and scalable data, allowing them to share their experiences with the community. Using this API enables them to carry out continuous monitoring of metrics, validate hypotheses through experimentation and automatically build learning models. 

3. Spotify: an online Finnish music service holding millions of songs that are available for listening on any device, anywhere. Spotify uses an API which allows its applications to receive data from the Spotify music catalog and manage user playlists and store music. The API functions on the basis of the simple REST principles, in which the endpoints of the API return all metadata about artists, albums and tracks directly from the Spotify catalog in JSON format. 

This API also provides access to user-related data, such as their playlists or music stored in their library. However, this functionality is always subject to customer authorization. 

4. Slack: an app that was launched in 2013 which unifies all internal business communications. Slack uses an API that allows you to build applications that interact with Slack in more complex ways than the integrations that are provided out of the box. 

The Slack web API consists of RPC HTTP  style methods, that must be called through HTTP. The different arguments should be sent to GET or POST, or use both interchangeably and responses are obtained in JSON format. 

You can read more about unicorn companies in this ebook

Sources: Buildwith, Slack, Spotify, Medium, Uber and Investopedia

If you want to know more about BBVA's financial APIs, go to this website.