StackMob, a startup providing backend services for mobile applications, today announced it has closed a $7.5 million round of funding led by Trinity Ventures. The service, in private beta since March, has seen over 200 applications created using its platform, and has a waiting list of developers interested in the private beta over 1,000 people long.
Want to jump in line? You can grab one of 200 invites to StackMob's private beta below.
When we first covered StackMob in January 2011, we noted that company co-founder Ty Amell described the service as sort of a "Heroku for mobile," referring to the way Heroku, a platform-as-a-service company, provides add-ons to Ruby developers looking to integrate additional functionality into their apps.
StackMob works in a similar way - developers can pick and choose what services they want to include in their applications. Currently, StackMob offers things like messaging, analytics, social integration (soon) and, one of the most popular features, API creation and management. According to Amell, its developers can't believe how fast the API creation tool is, even asking, "it can't be that easy, what am I missing?"
StackMob's Roadmap: New Languages, Android Support & More
Now that StackMob has new funding, it will use the money to invest in the creation of additional services and features. One of the newer features, due to arrive in the next week or two, is the support for sandboxes. Every developer will get a sandbox in addition to a production environment, and when they're ready, one click of a "deploy" button will take a snapshot of the sandbox and move it into production. You can even change your API with a click of a button.
StackMob will also focus on adding support for more languages, starting in the next month or two, and will begin to support Android as well. Amell says demand for Android has been huge with developers from all over the world asking for it. He estimates that Android support is about 3 months out.
As the service grows, it will introduce a freemium business model with tiered monthly subscriptions, based on usage, the number of backups, the customer service level desired, the redundancy wanted, etc. But Amell says StackMob is in "no rush" to start charging - the freemium pricing is still months away.
When we first heard about StackMob, the company said it would soon be offering monetization services, but at the moment, the company has paused development in that area. Because so much is changing with regard to Apple's rules, StackMob is going to wait until "the dust settles" before it readdresses this area. Although not mentioned specifically, the recent lawsuit threats related to the patents for in-app purchases are likely another holdup for StackMob. (For those unaware, Lodsys, a holder of a patent for in-app purchases has sent out letters to iOS developers, demanding they license the patent from them. In case you're looking for yet another example of how patent trolls stifle innovation...well, there you go.)
On StackMob's long-term roadmap is adding support for HTML5 or BlackBerry. Both are on the company's radar, but StackMob isn't convinced HTML5 is quite "there yet." Developer feedback will help it determine what which platform will be added next. And if StackMob does choose RIM, it's not sure whether it will support OS 7, QNX or both - again, it will listen to its developers in making this decision.
Update: Having issues with URL, in touch with company to resolve. Please check back shortly.
Update 2: LINK WORKS AGAIN!
ReadWriteMobile readers can get priority access to the StackMob beta via this address: http://www.stackmob.com/rww. If you're at all interested in using StackMob, beta access is going to be the only way in for some time - StackMob doesn't plan to launch commercially for another 6-9 months.
StackMob's funding round, led by Trinity Ventures, also included funding from StackMobs existing investors, Harrison Metal and Baseline Ventures. Dan Scholnick, General Partner at Trinity Ventures, has joined Harrison Metal founder Michael Dearing on StackMobs board of directors, too.