Stoplight Team, courtesy photo.

In 2014, Marc MacLeod worked as an independent software consultant in Los Angeles building Application Programming Interfaces, known as APIs, for companies.

MacLeod noticed that many of the APIs, which are systems of tools and resources in an operating system that enable developers to create software applications, lacked documentation and were poorly built.

So, MacLeod created a set of tools to serve as a blueprint for how to build better APIs, and those tools became the foundation behind his startup, Stoplight, now based in Austin. It sells an API toolkit that empowers more efficient workflows.

Stoplight this week announced it has landed $3.25 million in seed stage funding led by Bill Wood Ventures, with participation from NextGen Venture Partners, Next Coast Ventures, Social Starts, and Capital Factory. To date, Stoplight has raised $4.65 million.

Stoplight, with 11 employees, plans to double its workforce in the next year with a focus on hiring engineering talent, MacLeod said. It also recently hired Brian Rock as director of engineering. Rock most recently served as director of engineering and automation product at Austin-based Applause.

Already, Stoplight has attracted more than 500 paying customers in a vast array of industries including Honeywell, Zendesk, and SendGrid. Stoplight is seeing a lot of interest from the finance and healthcare industries.

“Software is evolving from a state in which it is developed line by line into a monolithic application to one in which it is assembled from small units or microservices” Bill Wood said in a news release. “This approach has enormous advantages, but it does create significant complexity in terms of how these smaller units are assembled and how they relate to each other. Stoplight robustly manages these connections, or APIs, such that developers are freed up to exploit all the advantages of microservices without dealing with the downside.”

Stoplight first came to Austin in 2015 to participate in Techstars Austin. After graduating from the program, MacLeod decided to relocate from Los Angeles and build his company in Austin.

“Austin is generally a great place to build a company,” MacLeod said. The company’s headquarters is based on South 1st Street.

Stoplight is addressing a huge problem companies have today, MacLeod said. Companies have hundreds of thousands of APIs – most built without clear documentation or adherence to any kind of standard. Stoplight works with software developers at the start of building an API to ensure it’s built uniformly and correctly to the company’s standards. Stoplight’s platform also automates all kinds of tasks for software developers and provides a project management collaboration workplace for distributed teams to work on a project.

“Stoplight ensures that everybody’s building APIs in a consistent way,” MacLeod said.