Kinvey, the enterprise-centric backend as a service (BaaS) platform for mobile apps, is launching a new feature today that will allow its customers to run their apps in a dedicated private cloud or on-premise instead of on Kinvey’s regular multi-tenant platform.
While BaaS platforms like Parse or StackMob (which is about to shut down after its acquisition by PayPal) remove much of the hassle of managing and scaling the server stack that powers modern applications, enterprises are still often hesitant to host their proprietary data on somebody else’s servers.
In many industries, these companies also have to comply with government regulations (HIPAA/PCI) that effectively preclude them from putting their data into a public cloud service. Kinvey CEO Sravish Sridhar tells me those are exactly the kinds of industries this service is going after (pharmaceutical, insurance, financial services, etc.) with its on-premise solution. The company plans to get its own HIPAA and PCI certifications in the near future, too.
Once a company has provisioned the on-premise servers for the Kinvey install, the service ties them into its release system and from then on it’s managed by Kinvey. As a part of the dedicated solutions, enterprises can then select which add-ons to make available to their developers and customize the developer portal for their employees.
With this new dedicated service, Kinvey says, enterprise IT will be able to offer a company’s developers access to enterprise data, authentication service and mobile backend features without the risk of the data leaking out. This means enterprises can launch apps for their employees, partners and customers while staying in control of the data. The dedicated platform is firewalled and all data and network communication is encrypted.
The company currently offers official support for native mobile apps on Android and iOS, as well as for HTML5 apps. In addition, the team actively supports developers who use tools like AngularJS, Backbone.js, PhoneGap, Node.js and Appcelerator’s Titanium. Customers that need support for other platforms like BlackBerry and Windows can use a set of open-source libraries.
With StackMob shutting down in May and Parse having been acquired by Facebook, Kinvey remains one of the few independent BaaS platforms left. He reckons this is due to the company’s focus on the enterprise. He believes it’s difficult to create a sustainable and long-term business by “just” solving backend issues for individual developers – especially for companies that only have raised a Series A round.
Because other platforms tend to tie pricing to the success of an app, they end up being very reliant on having startups that grow quickly on their site, but the majority of users remain on their free or low-end tiers. To scale independently, he believes these platforms need to go after the enterprise market.
Kinvey, which is based in Boston, currently has 21 employees and is ramping up its hiring quickly. The company has raised about $7 million to date, including a $5 million Series A in 2012.