3scale gets $4.2M to help companies manage their APIs

Boatloads of companies are constructing application-programming interfaces (APIs) to stream their data out to other sites, but developers don’t always have an easy way to secure or monetize these streams. Hence the emergence of API-management companies, which have been making lots of news lately. Now investors are putting $4.2 million behind another one of them, 3scale.

The new funding, which comes from Costanoa Venture Capital and Javelin Venture Partners, brings the total 3scale has raised to $5 million. The company, founded in 2007, will use the new funds to introduce “a whole bunch of product extensions” and add customers internationally, said Steve Willmott, CEO and a co-founder. Customers can already create subscriptions, give and take away access, observe traffic, set up alerts for usage violations, manage payments and use other functions.

The company targets startups releasing their first APIs as well as enterprises looking for full support. 3scale has more than doubled its customer count in the past year, with more than 200 now, including LiveOps, Skype and the U.S. Department of Energy, Willmott said. The API area has seen exponential growth — now there are more than 13,000 through which to pull and push data. Over the next five years, that number is expected to surpass 1 million, according to a 3scale statement.

As application developers get their APIs in place, API-management companies are competing to become known as the go-to sources customers can use to track, control and monetize their APIs. And many of the other players have been making waves in the past weeks.

News surfaced last week about Intel’s (s intc) acquisition of Mashery. Less than three weeks after API hub MuleSoft said it picked up $37 million in Series E funding, that company on Tuesday said that it is buying ProgrammableWeb, an API directory and news outlet. Also on Tuesday, CA Technologies (s ca) made news with its purchase of Layer 7 Technologies.

Because more companies are building out these rivers of content, the competition among the API-management providers, which also includes Apigee and Alcatel-Lucent’s open-source apiGrove, should remain lively for a while.