Some big news today for Red Hat, the open source company that provides a platform for application development and other platform as a service solutions: It is buying FeedHenry, an Ireland-based provider of a platform for mobile app developers, specifically for enterprises to build apps. In a statement on the acquisition, Red Hat says it will be paying €63.5 million ($82 million) in cash for FeedHenry. The deal is expected to close in Q3 (as a point of reference Red Hat is reporting Q2 fiscal 2015 figures today; Red Hat says it will be updating its guidance as a result of the acquisition).
The move speaks to how the sharp rise in smartphone usage — some 1.2 billion handsets will be shipped this year, IDC estimates — has had a knock-on effect in the enterprise world, where both large and small businesses are investing in building applications and security solutions to work on smartphones and tablets as well as roaming PCs. The mobile application platform was worth $1.4 billion in 2013 and will be worth $4.8 billion by 2017, according to forecasts from IDC.
“The mobile application platform is one of the fastest growing segments of the enterprise software market,| says Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, Application Platform Business, Red Hat, in a statement. “As mobile devices have penetrated into every aspect of enterprise computing, enterprise software customers are looking for easier and more efficient ways for their developers to build mobile applications that extend and enhance traditional enterprise applications. FeedHenry will help us enable customers to take advantage of the capabilities of mobile with the security, scalability, and reliability of Red Hat enterprise software.”
European startups have been very strong in the area of enterprise services and FeedHenry is very much an example of that. It had raised only $9 million since first opening for business in 2010 — that came in a single, Series A round announced last year, with participation from Intel Capital, VMWare and others. Among FeedHenry’s existing clients are Aer Lingus, Baystate Health, and O2 UK and Ireland.
“Since our inception, FeedHenry has embraced open technologies and the cloud for mobile development and management,” said Cathal McGloin, chief executive officer, FeedHenry, in a statement. “We are excited to become part of Red Hat, the leader in open source enterprise solutions, and see this as confirmation of the combined power of mobile and cloud, the mass-market adoption of mobile application and MBaaS platforms, and the growing popularity of Node.js. By joining Red Hat, we now have an opportunity to bring our leading mobile application platform to a wider audience of global customers and partners, to help them optimize for the mobile-first world.”
FeedHenry also fits operationally into the kind of business that Red Hat has built.
Like its acquirer, FeedHenry is based around open-source, cloud services. Its own flavor of that is a hybrid cloud that combines private and public clouds with on-premise tools.
Red Hat says FeedHenry will further its own JBoss xPaaS for OpenShift strategy, which it first announced in September 2013, which covers enterprise application, integration and business process automation in an open platform-as-a-service environment. “Mobile application services are a key part of that vision and FeedHenry provides the security, policy management, synchronization, and integration features to support mobile applications,” the company says.
FeedHenry’s architecture is based on Node.js and lets businesses work on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry apps, as well as hybrid, HTML5 and web apps.