Firstly let me say I love the import.io product and the Free Plan was perfect for us to get our very lean MVP startup up and running even with just the 500 requests a month this was perfect for us, but now it seems we've got to pay $249 p/m for less than 500 requests wasting potentially 49,500 requests and each request costing $2.49 each!!!
But still I think that the free tier was a bit tight for startups. IMHO a free tier upto 5,000 requests would be great (including API integrations) then a startup tier of $149 for upto 25,000 requests
Like a lot of other lean startups (just like Import.io I guess when they started up) we're using lots of 3rd party services which provide substantial free tiers for companies like ours to grow and then pay for upgrades from free tiers as and when the time is needed. Because if we need to upgrade then we're growing in size.
Services we use free tiers