Back in June at TechStars Demo Day, Kinvey kicked off their presentation with an introduction from Atlas Venture’s Fred Destin. As Destin introduced the mobile backend as a service company he announced that Atlas was investing $1 million in the startup. Today, we have learned that Kinvey has turned that $1 million into a $2 million seed round by bringing in Avalon Ventures (early investor in Zynga) and some heavy hitter angels. The angel investors who participated in the round are Chris Lynch (Former CEO at Vertica), Mike Baker (CEO of DataXu), Howard Lindzon’s Social Leverage Group, Justin Siegel (Founder & CEO of Mocospace), Nicole Stata (Boston Seed Capital), Jennifer Lum, Bill Burnham, Will Herman, Ty Danco and Joe Caruso.
Kinvey is the first Cloud Backend as a Service for Mobile Apps, making it ridiculously easy for developers to setup, use and operate a backend for their mobile apps. And because of the the company’s backend middleware and data layers sit across multiple cloud service providers (currently Rackspace, Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure), your mobile application will not go down. As smartphones continue to gain mainstream steam this will prove to be a huge benefit for companies.
“The next generation of mobile and tablet apps are all going to connect to data backends and various other cloud and social media services,” says Founder and CEO, Sravish Sridhar. “But every mobile developer will tell you that building and operating the backend stack sucks. We solve this problem. Kinvey makes it ridiculously easy for developers to setup, use and operate a cloud backend for their apps. We call it Backend as a Service,” added Sridhar.
Kinvey already has over 500 developers and mobile development companies signed up to use their private beta. Basically, mobile developers model their backend needs to store and retrieve data and incorporate various other features like connecting to social networks and sending push notifications. Kinvey takes care of the rest, the entire backend is auto-generated and extremely easy to maintain.
The team is planning on using the funding to grow their team and add new features like connecting to other third party data stores, manage app output and crash logs and showcase app analytics.
“I’d like Kinvey to become a default choice for anyone thinking about developing mobile apps and needing a real-time data backend,” says Fred Destin of Atlas Venture. “Given how many millions of users and apps we’re looking at, Kinvey can be a classic case of delivering incredible value back to developers and users whilst building a great business that really scales,” added Destin.
I caught up with founder Sravish Sridhar this week in order to get his take on the TechStars program as a whole. Here are some of the highlights from our convo on why TechStars was so valuable for Kinvey.
- Regular 1-1s with Mobile / Cloud Experts who mentored us for 3-months, and then invested in us (see list above)
- Life-long friendships with Boston entrepreneurs who will all do great things in their lives.
- VCs like Matthew Witheiler (Flybridge Capital), Eric Hjerpe (Kepha Partners), Mina Hsiang (General Catalyst), Sunil Dhaliwal (Battery Ventures), Chris Sheehan (CommonAngels), Sean Dalton (Highland Capital) and Roger Ehrenberg (IA Ventures), gave us great feedback on our go-to-market strategy and helped us polish our investor presentation
- The personal network that TechStars Mentors like Reed Sturtevant, Mike Grandinetti and Matt Cutler opened up for us, and the validation they gave us in their social media posts, brought us over 50 beta customers
- Katie Rae – She has an unbelievable work ethic and unlimited passion to help make the TechStars startups succeed.