Frain, a Nigerian startup, is developing Convoy, an open-source webhooks service that allows developers and businesses to design and distribute APIs more quickly and securely.
Developers have always had to construct and maintain these infrastructures in-house, paying for them with engineering time and money. Convoy, Frain’s service, helps enterprises to ship APIs faster and worry about one fewer infrastructure component.
Subomi Oluwalana, co-founder and CEO of Frain, abandoned his position as a backend developer at Nigerian fintech Tangerine Life in February 2021 to build APIs for fintech. For several months, the team tried to offer APIs to businesses with co-founder and COO Emmanuel Aina, but with little success.
While refining their solution to make it more economically feasible, the team discovered that webhooks were a common issue among startups looking to establish APIs. Webhooks are simply the glue that holds APIs together. They are a crucial infrastructure component for most API firms (like Stripe, Twillo, or Paystack).
“Essentially, a failed webhooks event has a direct customer impact. A failed event from Paystack means a customer won’t receive value for their purchase on Domino’s while the customer has received a debit alert,” Aina said.
Convoy, a cloud-native webhook solution that allows developers to push webhook events to their consumers in minutes, was born out of this realization. The adoption rate was extremely high.
“The reception for Convoy has been massive. It is currently being used by Termii, BuyCoins, Dojah, Getwallets and a few others. The developer community has also commented that it is indeed an essential tool,” said Aina.
Frain raised US$473,000 in pre-seed fundraising in January from Rally Cap Ventures, Musha Ventures, Future Africa, Eric Idiah, Tomiwa Lasebikan, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Odunayo Eweniyi, Timi Ajiboye, Opeyemi Awoyemi, and numerous other angel investors.
“We are currently operating in the African market with a particular focus on Nigeria. Our product is open to developers across the world. This funding will enable us to invest in our community locally and globally as well as build more products,” said Aina.
Frain generates money by selling its Cloud Platform to businesses that don’t want to manage Convoy infrastructure in-house.
“With this, they can offload all their webhooks infrastructure burden on us to provide reliability and security out-of-the box,” said Aina.
“For the most part, most companies have an implementation of webhooks in-house. So for many, they wonder why they needed to swap out what they currently have to usher in Convoy. But we’re confident we’ve built a product that is 10 times better than most in-house implementations and we’re still in the very early stages of fulfilling our mission. We think with time, the difference will be clear and more people will be willing to switch their current implementations as our current customers did.”