PayPal has announced that it has acquired the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) provider, StackMob. With more than 40,000 apps and having processed more than 300 million APIs, StackMob is one of the leading providers in MBaaS. Founded in 2010, it is also one of the first MBaaS startups, and it began with a strong aspiration to become the de facto backend for mobile startups. In May 2011, it received a Series-A funding round of $7.5 million, led by Trinity Ventures.
The market for cloud based mobile backend is crowded with more than 40 players offering similar services. Yet, MBaaS is one of the fastest growing cloud services segment. Mobile developers can assemble an app by consuming various services exposed by these backend. This cuts down the time involved in developing and shipping the mobile applications. After seeing the success of the new service delivery model and realizing the business opportunity, major players including Facebook, Microsoft and Salesforce.com started investing in the mobile backend services too. Facebook’s acquisition of Parse for a whopping $85 million speaks volumes about the potential of MBaaS.
StackMob CEO Ty Amell said, “By joining the PayPal team, we endeavor to maintain our focus on developers through PayPal and extend innovative mobile technologies that will let you access the rich capabilities of the PayPal global network. We believe our work at PayPal will make it easier for you to create seamless payment solutions that span online, mobile, and in-store experiences.”
It will be interesting to see what Facebook and PayPal will do with their new found love for mobile backends. This will help both the companies in getting closer to the mobile developer community.
The Indian startup scene is also warming up to the MBaaS market. App42 from ShepHertz Technologies is a comprehensive service that has extensive API choice targeting the popular mobile platforms. In May, ShepHertz got funded by the investors from Mumbai Angels and Kae Capital. They participated at the TechCrunch India Pavilion hosted by YourStory in San Francisco in August. CloudEngine is another startup from India with the vision of creating an open source mobile backend.
I am expecting that Kinvey, another popular MBaaS company, which is up for grabs will be acquired next year. After Parse and StackMob, they have the mature and complete mobile backend platform. With Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and Oracle trying to strengthen their mobile strategy, 2014 will see the consolidation in this space.
With these acquisitions and growing competition, MBaaS space is getting more interesting to watch!