Flotype just scored $1.4 million in seed money for ramping up an ambitious enterprise software push. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners, Yuri Milner and Salesforce.com.
The Berkeley, Calif.-based startup has set quite a goal for itself. It’s building, as GigaOM reported earlier, “massive scale, enterprise-grade bidirectional communication between any server and any device,” in the words of CEO Darshan Shankar, CEO and co-founder. Now that technology has a name: “Bridge.”
Bridge, which Shankar said is already being tested in the field by unnamed businesses, aims to make it easier for software developers to build applications that flow from any end-user device to and from corporate server-based applications. To do that, it has to handle all the heavy lifting and complicated work of real-time communications so developers can focus on what they do best. Theoretically, developers could also use Bridge to rebuild back end applications, but the initial push is to foster fast communication, borrowing on lessons learned from massively scaled web applications like Facebook and Twitter, Shankar said.
Flotype, a 2011 Ycombinator company, will provide developers with an API and native libraries for virtually every device, Shankar said. Flotype itself will host a set of server-side libraries that handle the hook between a business’s servers and devices and the Flotype’s own infrastructure. All of [the] communications between the customer’s servers and devices is all abstracted away,” Shankar said.
Bridge, however, is Flotype’s first real product, a technology that enables real-time communication between any server, any device, on any platform. Bridge abstracts away the complexity of large real-time applications. This helps developers using cloud or on-premise platforms to build their mobile, web, or embedded applications faster.
The company includes several University of California-Berkeley engineers and Amazon and Dropbox alums. It will need their expertise: fostering secure, real-time communication that has to cross all the barriers between users’ browsers and company-owned enterprise applications isn’t trivial. There is a bewildering array of programming languages on all those devices, so Bridge must take all that into account and somehow abstract it so developers won’t have to worry about it and offer a developers a single API to handle all that.