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StrongLoop Raises $8M For Mobile App Platform Built On Node.js

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StrongLoop has raised $8 million in Series A funding for its backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) that uses Node.js as a platform for developing mobile apps in the cloud or in the data center. The funding came from Shasta Ventures and Ignition Partners, bringing StrongLoop’s total funding to $9 million.

The company provides a mobile API tier as a way for developers to get access to backend data for their apps. New CEO Isaac Roth, a former Red Hat executive who helped spearhead OpenShift,  the company’s platform-as-a-service, says the company is seeking to bridge mobile to the enterprise as much as the web was connected to corporate backend environments through the browser.

With the funding, StrongLoop is launching LoopBack, an MBaaS that is available on Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Red Hat OpenShift and Cloud9 IDE, an online platform for development. Built on Node.js, LoopBack abstracts the complexity of backend integrations. With the service, developers can connect their devices and browsers to data that is either on a cloud service or in the corporate data center.

The difference today is in the speed and volume of the data and the types of devices that people use. Data is delivered in updates to Twitter, text messages and email over smartphones and tablets. Laptops and PCs are still widely used, but the turn to mobile technologies is real. The shift to mobile is in contrast to the PC age when people primarily used the web for browsing and email for sending large files.

StrongLoop is betting on Node.js, the server-side JavaScript programming language, to drive a new generation of apps. Node.js is designed to manage high-volume data loads, primarily for mobile services, and it handles multiple open sessions on the backend, loading the data that is needed.

There are tens of thousands of JavaScript developers who have made the shift to Node.js. LoopBack, which connects to MongoDB, will appeal to that community.

The MBaaS market is starting to look crowded with established players such as Kinvey, which is already enjoying a strong presence in the market, and Feed Henry,  a well-known Node.js platform.