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Monday
Oct242011

CloudMine Launches in Public Beta Because Doing Back-end Yourself Sucks


WHAT:
Back-end as a service platform for mobile application developers. CloudMine generates API keys in one click to easily cloud-enable your application. Cloudmine powers the back-end for apps through a simple API call. Developers can use the REST-based API or download SDKs for the platform of their choice and not need to worry about servers, web applications and scaling. Server maintenance is now CloudMine's problem.

LAUNCHERS:  Brendan McCorkie, co-founder and lead of business development. Marc Weil, co-founder and engineer. Ilya Braude, co-founder and engineer.

WHY: Developing the back-end is something developers have to do, rather than something that they like to do. Back-end is not the thing that makes apps awesome, but powers all the things that do. Developing the back-end for every app slows down the ability to release apps. Developers can now focus strictly on the design and not have to worry about code. 

WHEN/WHERE: May 2011 / Philadelphia.

BACKSTORY
: "We had sort of been working on a slightly different version of what we're working on now, which was pre-iCloud, building iCloud for non-Apple devices," Brendan tells LAUNCH. The team wanted to solve the lack of good syncing for non-Apple devices. Now iCloud has wireless syncing, but having a back-end is still required to enable app functionality. Brendan explains, "engine doesn't equal car -- engine powers car."

Brendan says mobile devices can't do very many powerful things. The reason smartphones have bad data plans is because of all of the heavy lifting happens somewhere else. The phone is just a platform.

BUSINESS MODEL: Currently free. Will eventually launch pay-as-you-go tiered metered rates per API call. First 500K API calls each month cost $0.0005 each. Next 2M API calls each month cost $0.0003 each. Storage is free.

COMPETITION: Amazon Web Services, Heroku, Google App Engine, Kinvey, StackMob, Parse.

ON COMPETITION: "Amazon Web Services' dashboard is painful and the UI is confusing," Brendan says. "Our pricing is simpler. Simplicity is the thing that we're curing for developers, which is what they want." Also, "we don't require developers to set data models."

CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: 419 signups. Intro'd, which took third place at Philadelphia Startup weekend, built the app on CloudMine and will release soon in the Apple App Store. EffThePPA, a parking app that took first place in Philly SW. CloudMine is also supporting other DreamIT companies that have mobile applications and presences.

PHILOSOPHY: "We're in the business of making it easier for mobile developers to do what they do," Brendan says. "If they don't have to spend time building the back-end, it takes less time to release an app. We can either release more apps per time, having better margins, or use more bandwidth to put into each given app."

WHO BACKED IT: DreamIt Ventures

TOTAL RAISED: $20K in seed funding from DreamIt Ventures. Raising $500K.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 3.

SCREEN SHOTS


From the Dashboard, access your apps or create a new app. 



Enter the name of your app to get your API key. Code Snippets let you run your own customer JS code server side before your data is returned to your app after a GET, POST, or PUSH request.



Eff the PPA, a startup that helps you beat parking tickets, is planning to switch to CloudMine before going live.


FURTHER READING

1. "Infrastructure Q2: Big data and PaaS gain more momentum" ( Gigaom, July 19, 2011)

2. "Three Ways Apple is Influencing Enterprise Software Development"(Software Advice, Oct. 7, 2011)
 

CONTACTS & LINKS

Brendan McCorkle, co-founder and lead of business development
Email: brendan at cloudmine dot me

Twitter: @mccorkley  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brendan-mccorkle/a/91a/ab5
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116778695540217226190/posts   

Ilya Braude, co-founder and engineer
Twitter: @ilybr  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ilyabraude

Marc Weil, co-founder and engineer
Twitter: @marcweil  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/marcweil 

CloudMine
Twitter: @CloudMineLLC   
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CloudMineLLC
Blog: blog.cloudmine.me
Investors & board: http://www.crunchbase.com/financial-organization/dreamit-ventures