If you’re an app developer working today, you’ve likely heard of a query language syntax called GraphQL. Often touted for improving the developer experience with APIs, GraphQL is also part of a more fundamental shift taking place in app development. And this is where Apollo — the company behind the most widespread implementation of GraphQL — comes in.
GraphQL and Apollo’s platform represent the emergence of an essential new part of the modern computing stack: the data graph. This new layer will fundamentally help development teams accelerate the development of consistent and high-quality apps for all platforms while getting a map, for the first time, of all their data and how it is used.
In 2012, when we first invested in Meteor (the company that created Apollo), it was pretty clear that the team was onto something very special. From the beginning, their goal was to help development teams build apps faster. Their Meteor framework was designed to take all the complexity out of building apps that spanned multiple clients while dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the backend servers. Meteor became popular with app developers, becoming one of the top 10 most starred projects on Github.
But at the height of Meteor’s popularity, Geoff Schmidt (CEO), Matt DeBergalis (CTO), and the team saw an even bigger opportunity and made the bold decision to build a new product, Apollo. By combining Meteor’s technology with a newly developed query language syntax called GraphQL, they created the world’s first data graph platform that a company could adopt on top of their existing databases and microservices.
Apollo’s Data Graph Platform lets app developers combine all of the services, databases, and APIs inside their company into a single connected marketplace called a data graph. App developers can then easily draw on them in any combination to power their customer experiences. The data graph bridges the divide between rapid client-side development and an increasingly complex set of APIs and services on the server-side.
This means that the front-end teams can focus on building functionality for users, without spending a lot of time trying to figure out which API or service has the data they need. With this map of the data through Apollo, development teams now have faster development time, consistent security, and easier integration with internal or external partners.
Apollo is now on a strong trajectory both in terms of the open source developer community and within large organizations that are building apps, whether for mobile, IoT, the web, and beyond. Apollo recently surpassed one million client downloads in a single week!
Already, Apollo has an order of magnitude more open source downloads than the next most popular alternative, and enterprises like Airbnb, Expedia, SurveyMonkey, Audi, and more are adopting the platform as the middleware for their backend services and data.
From here, the team will invest in building out the organization — particularly engineering, sales, and marketing — to continue its work toward achieving its mission of bringing every app developer a data graph.
Since the day we met them, Geoff and Matt have never wavered from their true north: helping app developers help the world. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Apollo and are honored to be part of this new $22MM round of funding. It has been quite a journey, and we look forward to watching companies and developers around the world build the best experiences for their users with the Apollo platform.