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VMblog Expert Interview: StackOne, Transforming Integrations with a Unified API

In today's increasingly connected world, seamless integration between various systems is crucial for business efficiency and success. StackOne, a rising star in the integration space, is making waves with its innovative approach. In this VMblog Q&A with Romain Sestier, CEO and Co-founder of StackOne, we dive into StackOne's unique solutions, their recent seed funding round, and their vision for the future of integrations, particularly involving the transformative power of AI.

VMblog:  Tell us about StackOne. Can you elaborate on the specific solutions you provide and the problems your services address?

Romain Sestier:  Essentially, StackOne makes it easy for B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors to add 3rd party integrations to their product by offering a unified API to entire categories of tools. We do this by "translating" the APIs of dozens of tools, so they all work in the same way. Our API enables vendors to seamlessly incorporate integrations into their products in a secure and cost-effective manner. By utilizing StackOne, SaaS platforms effortlessly interface with established HRIS, ATS, CRM, and Marketing enterprise tools, ensuring a smooth workflow for all involved parties. Notably, StackOne's unified API simplifies interaction with various platforms in real-time, all while safeguarding sensitive employee data as we never store any PII transferred.

VMblog:  StackOne announced a recent seed funding round. Is this money planned to fuel company growth? Can you elaborate on your plans for it?

Sestier:  Yes, we are thrilled to have announced our seed funding round of $3.6M USD led by Episode 1 with additional funding from Playfair, the founder of Github, and angel investors at Google, Microsoft, Sequoia, and more. Closing seed funding is an exciting milestone for us and is providing the initial capital to continue StackOne's growth. We'll be using the money to continue to grow our unified API offering for the enterprise SaaS sector and further expand our presence in the US, EU, and Australian markets. Overall, our successful seed funding round is helping us to achieve our early milestones and will help position us for further investment in the future.

VMblog:  Can you explain the specific challenges that StackOne addresses?

Sestier:  StackOne has four key differentiators that set us apart from the competition and have been key for the company more than doubling its revenue in the last few weeks alone. First, we are a unified API. Unlike Zapier/Workato/Tray where you have to build and maintain each integration at a time, we've pre-mapped over 3,000 common API fields to our own standardized API, so our customers only have to build one integration to add dozens into their product. And StackOne works in real-time - not like Merge or Kombo which have a lag of several hours or days. And there's no storing of data like there is with most other integration platforms. They store the data that they transfer, even if just in their request logs, which represents major data security risks for enterprise customers. And finally, one of the major criticisms of other unified APIs is that they don't always support their customers' use-case across all their connectors. The StackOne platform allows our customers to customize the unified API to their use-case and we offer service-level guarantees on support of certain connectors. These differentiators have helped us gain traction right away among SaaS vendors.

VMblog:  Who is your typical customer? What does that customer profile look like?

Sestier:  The SaaS landscape has grown exponentially over the past few years. With this growth comes challenges, especially regarding system integrations. Our typical customer is a SaaS company that is looking for a better way to build integrations at scale for their customers. Additionally, without a real-time API, technologies risk failing during security review processes. Some of our customers include Localyze, Screenloop, Phrasee, and many others. For example, many certifications require employees to on- and offboard within a day to be compliant. Integrations must be efficient and compliant with industry standards and regulations and being real-time is essential. StackOne addresses all of those pain points for SaaS vendors quickly and easily.

VMblog:  What inspired the founding of StackOne? Can you share the team's background and experiences that led to this venture?

Sestier:  The SaaS market is evolving, and businesses need to adapt to stay competitive. With the challenges of system integrations and the unpredictability of the market, businesses must consider more sustainable solutions. Guillaume and I have worked together for over 10 years at several SaaS companies. I worked at Google where I was the co-founder and product lead of a project in Area 120, where I led the creation, and absorption into Google Shopping of an AI-powered business intelligence tool. Guillaume and I also worked at Yieldify, which was acquired by Publicis Groupe, as VP of Product and Engineering (respectively), and we understand the frustration of constantly having to reject customer integration requests. That's why we created StackOne - to eliminate the need to say "no." StackOne offers a new solution for businesses looking to simplify their integration processes. The unified API that we offer provides a way for businesses to streamline their integration processes and confidently say "yes" to client requests.

VMblog:  What does the future hold for StackOne? What are your upcoming plans?

Sestier:  There is this ongoing challenge of building and maintaining integrations. It's time-consuming and sometimes daunting and StackOne takes this burden away from SaaS vendors while providing top-tier security measures and a real-time architecture. We already see that StackOne is the preferred choice for privacy-conscious tech teams seeking scalable integration solutions. Those are our upcoming plans - working to ensure integrations are easy, secure and real time everywhere.

VMblog:  How do you see AI impacting integrations in the next few years?

Sestier:  Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Gemini are already revolutionizing the way that developers are building applications. When it comes to integrations, it's a complex problem to solve. There are many moving pieces and a lot is at stake - if the integration does not work in the expected way, it could cause data breaches or bad user experiences. StackOne is using LLMs to automatically develop stable and testable integration connectors that can reliably be used by enterprise customers, and I believe we're well positioned to make this happen. Our team includes experienced LLM developers, and we've built our architecture from the ground-up to support automation by AI.

VMblog:  Can you provide real-world examples of how your platform has helped businesses overcome integration challenges?

Sestier:  Just recently we announced a collaboration with Localyze, a global mobility platform that facilitates international work and relocations for companies and their employees. StackOne is facilitating new integrations between Localyze's software and several enterprise Human Resource Management System (HRIS) tools, including Workday, Personio, Bamboo, HiBob, and SAP. StackOne creates the easy to use, real-time and secure integrations enabling HR teams to manage employee requests related to international work, relocations, and visa sponsorship. This is a game-changer for these teams, as before they would have had to manually update several systems, causing delays and, often, incorrect data.

VMblog:  In terms of security, how does StackOne ensure the safe and reliable transfer of data between different systems?

Sestier:  A number of unified APIs require data to be stored within their system in order for it to operate. That presents a security risk. Storing sensitive information makes these systems more vulnerable to cyberattacks, less likely to pass procurement with clients, and when the system needs to be removed, it can be time consuming. We understand the critical nature of data security and privacy. With StackOne, no data is stored at rest or in transit. Our commitment to security and privacy is unwavering, even when others in the market might still overlook some of the aspects of security.


Published Wednesday, March 06, 2024 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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