Fleksy targets devs with SDK platform for smart keyboard features

Keyboard tech licensing startup Fleksy has expanded its SDK offering with an eye on winning over indie devs and app makers with an accessible, SaaS-like platform entry-point to its software licensing business.

CEO Olivier Plante says Fleksy now has a dozen enterprise customers for its keyboard SDK — which offers a suite of features like next word prediction, swipe and customization. He also confirmes to TechCrunch that customer wins at the enterprise end of the market powered the startup to profitability a year ago.

Now Fleksy wants to get the developer side of the equation on-board with its paid tools for building smarter keyboards.

“Today we’re launching over on Product Hunt so we tap into the community,” he tells TechCrunch. “We had an SDK for licensing to enterprise. Now we have a platform on which developers can build on top of our SDK — for example plugins that could enable new types of applications.”

A blog post by Plante highlighting one component of the SDK platform — called Fleksy Core, which is geared towards apps that already have a text input but want to extend that by adding more features — promises devs the ability to add “text input autocorrection, prediction and swipe — all integrated in a day”.

“CoreSDK enables proper typing across platforms,” he explains. “For example, typing in VR and AR is horrible, using our coreSDK [developers] could add autocorrect, predictions and very important swipe input in virtual and augmented reality.”

Fleksy’s dev platform comprises both its Keyboard SDK and the Core SDK.

“For developers, we needed to build a platform with a more scalable support and docs online etc,” adds Plante. “Devs love to evaluate on their own and enterprises were more doing legals and agreements for a tailor made service.”

“With the platform, developers can access/try for free and make up their mind — which our competition still focuses on selling licenses, we are democratizing access to building text typing products at scale,” he continues. “It’s more accessible now thanks to being all online — like a SaaS.”

Per Plante, the Barcelona-based startup’s hope with this more developer-accessible SDK is that by getting more in-app keyboards using Fleksy — and being “privacy focused”, as he puts it — it can play its part in countering Google’s dominance.

“That’s really the mission behind our platform,” he suggests.

The Android maker bakes its own smart keyboard tech, Gboard, into its mobile OS platform as the default keyboard (and also offers a Gboard app on iOS). Although the adtech giant has long suggested it does not retain or acquire the keystroke data of Gboard users — and, in recent years, has poured engineering effort into on-device predictions it claims are privacy safe.