In today’s technology start-up scenario, it is a herculean task to attain a commanding position of respect. A great product from a good start-up company always comes to the market as a pleasant surprise. Here is the story of Bangalore based mobile start-up United Mobile Apps which through its ambition, dedication and hard work have secured $ 1 Million Series as funding from Mumbai Angels, around 2 weeks ago. They have also emerged as winners of the Yourstory .in TechSparks 2011.Founded in April 2009, United Mobile Apps, is a mobile / broadband / wireless technology company that focuses on connection and device management along with data synchronization software with products like UConnect, UManage, and USync. The Co-founder and CTO, Sriram V Iyer, speaks to our Chief Editor, Janakiram MSV telling us its story right from its inception to its most recent funding. Based on an interview with Sriram we present the story of UMA his start-up, and now one of India’s most promising Cloud based company.
Arun Samudrala and Sriram V Iyer who were colleagues at Beceem Communications, with a lot of experience in 4G deployments globally went forth to innovate in this domain. They attended ‘Start up School 2008 in Stanford which was the tipping point for them to accelerate the founding of UMA. The company was put on its feet with assistance from Mr. Mahalingam& Mr. Karthik Krishnan M.
Arun and Sriram are hands on and are active as members of the core technical team which is backed by Sathyanarayanan S ( Lead for the Connect Program), Mukta Sharma (ex-Phillips semi),Suresh L (ex – Nokia), Vasuki Setlur (VP Product Management) and Dr. Arjuna Sathiaseelan.
UMA recently completed their Series A funding and raised about $ 1 MM USD led by Mumbai Angels. Blume Ventures (India), India Venture Partners (Mauritius) and Christop Prinz and Associates (Austria) also participated in this round. They intend to invest this capital to expand their engineering and also roll out Marketing and Sales program in Japan, US and India.
Their primary area of focus is Data Synchronization platform -USync which is a cross platform Data Sync solution. They currently run USyncWorld.com on MS Azure Platform and use GlassFish Application Server and MySQL Backend.
UMA adopts Cloud deployment whenever the demand for computation and storage is elastic. The cloud to them is a natural evolution step after using virtualized setup for hosting. They use both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services and are a partner in Microsoft BizSpark, getting great support from MS. The USyncWorld.com runs on MS Azure. They follow the standard architecture design for cloud deployment.
For the purpose of cloud evaluation, PaaS is serious business that is very capital-intensive. As a start-up, they just took the two biggest names – MS Azure and AWS. MS Auzure was more economically run as they had some deals being Microsoft BizSpark partners. Having evaluated MS Azure from its early days they enjoyed a comfort level with Azure.Choosing an unconventional path of running Java on Windows Azure is a challenging step for UMA as the architecture on how Java Web App and MySQL had to be run needed to be decided. They had to bear heavy expenses as My SQL and GlassFish were not co-located when Azure was being configured.
It was a pleasant surprise for UMA that Microsoft extended them incredible support at every step. They still have technical discussions on optimizing their set up with senior architects of Microsoft.
UMA also recommends non-Microsoft based start-ups to run their product on Windows Azure as their experience with them has been fantastic. They would like to support more architectural support for open source DBs like MySQL when they run on multiple instances.
In the future, UMA would like to launch more services that are based on the cloud. They don’t consider the regular hosting plans as an option. They would like to host the UManage - OMA DM v 1.2.1 based Device Management Server on Cloud next. They are soon going to launch a cloud based service, Kepplr, the next generation data Sync Service.
Smith Micro Systems and Option are some of their close competitors. United Mobile Apps stands out by making the platform generic, programmable and with built-in support for Value Added Services.
As an Indian technology product start-up aiming at capturing global market, Sriram feels some of the challenges ahead could be in establishing key partnerships, marketing and sales channels in APAC , EU and US regions.