The mobile backend-as-a-service market continues to heat up as more developers look to connect their apps to various services and offer more features. That’s prompting more money for startups such like Cambridge, MA-based Kinvey, which is announcing that it has raised $5 million led by Avalon Ventures, with participation from existing investor Atlas Ventures.
The company is coming out of beta now and is looking to sign up more developers to its platform. Kinvey, a TechStars Boston graduate that previously raised $2 million, offers developers a simple way to add services like push notifications, social integration, location, data syncing, analytics and other features to their apps. Kinvey supports iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and HTML5 developers on its platform.
Kinvey is going up against companies such as Stackmob and Parse, who are also trying to be the “Heroku for mobile.” Sravish Sridhar, the founder and CEO of Kinvey, told me his company is looking to differentiate itself by making it very easy for developers to connect to any data source or features on any third-party cloud platform. With Kinvey’s Service Link architecture, developers can connect to services such as Google Places, Facebook, Foursquare and Urban Airship (see disclosure below). This architecture can also be helpful for enterprises that want to unlock data that lives on legacy backends such as Oracle, WebSphere, JBoss and SAP, said Sridhar.
“We can be the glue for all data and features, end to end,” said Sridhar. “In the back end level, we are proxying information not only from our own cloud but any backend legacy infrastructure.”
Kinvey is also introducing “success pricing,” which gives customers access to all the features they want and charges them based on active users of their app. Customers will pay 3 cents per active user with caps being worked out to limit how much successful developers can expect to pay. This differs from other backend services, which often charge based on the features implemented.
As Kinvey reported last year, 3/4 of iOS and Android apps don’t connect to a backend service. But connected apps often receive higher ratings and reviews because they’re more dynamic with more fresh content and features. That suggests that there’s a lot of opportunity ahead for Kinvey, Parse, Stackmob, Appcelerator and others, who are trying to be the mobile backend of choice for developers.
Urban Airship is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in GigaOM.