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    Definitions 2 min read

    Zapier is a no-code automation tool that translates APIs among hundreds of web applications to simplify integrations and complex workflows. Essentially, it allows users to create commands between two or more applications based on the “if X happens, do Y” structure. Zapier’s automation of workflows takes the place of manual API integrations that require a significant degree of technical expertise.

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    How Zapier works

    At the heart of Zapier’s functionality are automated workflows called Zaps. Every Zap has one specific trigger that happens in one application and at least one action that happens in one or more applications. Once a user has connected the applications they use to Zapier, they can choose from commonly used Zap templates or create custom workflows based on the business’s unique needs.

    Zapier’s support spans more than 3,000 applications including those from large tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, WordPress, and Zoho. Categories of apps include:

    • Business intelligence
    • Commerce
    • Communication
    • Content and files
    • Human resources
    • Internet of Things
    • IT Operations
    • Lifestyle and entertainment
    • Marketing
    • Productivity
    • Sales and CRM
    • Support
    • Website and app building

    A sample Zap between Facebook Ads and Gmail is illustrated in the image below:

    An Example of a Zapier Zap.


    Zapier history

    Zapier was founded in 2011 as a part of the first Startup Weekend in Columbia, Missouri. The company was accepted to Y Combinator startup accelerator in the summer of 2012, where it raised $1.3 million in seed funding. It became profitable in 2014. 

    In 2016, the company introduced multi-step Zaps for even greater automation functionality and reached one million users. 2017 saw the launch of Zapier for Teams and Zap Sharing for teams in the span of six months, adding an enterprise-focused appeal. The company also announced its Delocation Package to help employees relocate away from the San Francisco Bay area.

    Zapier was listed on the Forbes Cloud 100 List in September, 2018. The same year, the company announced a steady growth in both supported app integrations and annual revenue. In 2021, Zapier announced that it had acquired Makerpad, a no-code education service and community.