Kinvey Lands $10.8M Series B, Hot on Heels of VMware Partnership

If you want to make hay as an independent mobile backend service company, it helps to have a big partner and some extra cash. Boston-based startup Kinvey can now cross both of those items off its to-do list.

Today, the company is announcing a $10.8 million Series B investment, led by new backers NTT Docomo Ventures and Verizon Ventures.

That follows last week’s news that VMware is partnering with Kinvey to offer backend services on its vCloud Air cloud-computing platform. And, as Kinvey CEO Sravish Sridhar noted, VMware is also a customer—it’s now running its support app on the Kinvey system.

That double dose of good news would be welcome for most companies at just about any time. But the world of mobile backend-as-a-service providers has gotten a lot more competitive, and getting new partners and investors on board right now is especially crucial for Kinvey’s continued growth.

Kinvey and similar providers handle the server-side software that acts as the backbone for mobile applications. So, instead of writing and managing their own code, app developers can essentially outsource things like databases, libraries, analytics, and user authentication to someone else and pay as they go.

Tons of startups offering those services sprung up in the wake of the mobile computing revolution. But the market has started to shake out in the past couple of years, with big players developing their own versions or buying smaller companies.

Today, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon all offer some flavor of a backend service for mobile developers. Facebook bought its way into the game by acquiring Parse. And just last week, Kinvey competitor FeedHenry was acquired by Red Hat for around $81 million.

That’s why this past week of announcements is pretty welcome news for Kinvey, which focuses on enterprise customers—one could imagine that independent backend service providers might find themselves boxed out in the near future, or at least constrained to the lowest end of the market.

Kinvey has now raised $17.8 million in total venture investment since its founding in 2010, with previous investors including Avalon Ventures and Atlas Venture. In its announcement of the Series B deal, Kinvey said it would use the new cash to develop its products but also grow its sales and partnership efforts, “with a focus on cloud and systems integrator partners.”

As Sridhar told VentureBeat following the news of FeedHenry’s acquisition, “If anything, the competition starts to get more interesting now.”

Trending on Xconomy