Mashery, possibly the coolest company in Silicon Valley that most people have never heard of, announced a Series A funding round tonight. The All-Star crew of angel investors in this "mashup service-provider" are being joined by VCs from two more firms, Formative Ventures and The Accelerator Group. The total A round was under $5 million and Mashery also announced a 16 company customer list.

What's so cool about this company? Mashery provides other companies with an interface through which to manage access to their APIs (application programming interfaces). Mashery applies the "business rules" of API access for its clients, managing throttling, caching and vetting requests. I wrote about the company in depth on TechCrunch almost a year ago when they launched.

In other words, Mashery helps companies enable their data and services to be used by 3rd party sites to combine their services with those of Mashery clients.

Who do I wish used Mashery to get a solid API out the door ASAP? Here's my fantasy list - what's yours?

  • LinkedIn - nobody wants to wait until the middle of next year to access all the profile pages and info in there!
  • Twitter - they just got money and the future of the company rests on an API that is maddeningly unreliable right now.
  • Yahoo! for Del.icio.us alone - let the world mine that data - I want a handful of recommendation engines to choose from and other applications I can't even imagine built on top of my public bookmarks. Everything takes forever to change once its been acquired by Yahoo! but they have some really awesome stuff. Maybe outsourcing some API set-up and management would help pick up the pace.

Not only is Mashery focused on making these kinds of possibilities a reality, they've got the kinds of connections that can make all kinds of things happen. Angel investors include Josh Kopelman, Jeff Clavier, Ron Conway, and Dave McClure. Angels don't get much hotter than that.

Current customers include Trulia real estate search, Compete web analytics and business search engine ZoomInfo. You can see the full list on the Mashery site.

Now that they've got a year under their belt, Mashery's Oren Michels tells me that they are finding that most customers already have a handful of outside partners that they are giving special access to - but they use Mashery's services to open up those collaborative possibilities with any approved partners, systematically. If you recognize yourself in that path towards being mashed up, you might find Mashery to your liking.