When Mashape launched in private alpha last year, the startup described itself as the "Etsy for Cloud Services." The comparison may be apt: Mashape provides a community marketplace where developers can buy and sell their own APIs.

But that's really just a small piece of what the company is doing, and Mashape is set on rearranging the building blocks of the entire API ecosystem.

The startup moves into beta today and is launching a billing system so that developers can both meter and monetize their APIs.

No doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as they are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and services. It isn't simply major companies that are publishing their APIs; almost every startup launches with one (or should) and even individual developers are building and distributing their projects that way.

So as the API economy explodes, Mashape hopes to become a place where providers can come to both distribute their APIs, but also easily discover and consume others'.

API providers can list their JSON APIs, which using Mashape's wizard, will in turn auto-generate five client libraries - PHP, Ruby, Python, Objective-C, and Java. The new billing tool lets developers establish a monthly price, API call limits, and the price per additional call.

Consumers can use any API listed on the site via one single developer key. They can also play with the various APIs using the online Test Console. Developers can also use their open source, server-side API framework to build and deploy their own APIs.

Currently Mashape has more than 110 APIs, both published and private, and as the startup moves beyond its private alpha, that number will only grow. "I believe APIs have no limits," says co-founder and CEO Augusto Marietti.

ReadWriteWeb readers can get fast-tracked access to the beta by using the code "RWW" to sign up.