Zapier was started in Columbia, Missouri by co-founders Wade Foster, Bryan Helmig, and Mike Knoop as part of the first Startup Weekend Columbia in 2011. After initially submitting an application for the Winter 2012 funding cycle and being rejected, they then built their initial prototype with 25 apps, and were accepted to Y Combinator startup seed accelerator in the Summer 2012 funding cycle. As a result of the acceptance, the company was relocated to Mountain View, California in Spring 2012. In October of the same year, Zapier received a $1.3 million seed funding round led by global venture investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners. Zapier reached profitability in 2014.
In March 2017, the company made headlines by offering a "de-location package," consisting of $10,000 in moving reimbursement to employees who desired to move away from the San Francisco Bay Area. While Zapier's entire workforce works remotely, the package was a result of increasing housing costs and the company's desire to help its local employees improve their standard of living. Shortly after, job applications increased by 30%, but as of January 2018 no employees have taken advantage of the offer.
Zapier provides workflows to automate the use of web applications together. It is often described as a translator between web APIs.