Mobile backend as a service startup Parse has raised its Series A funding with an announcement today of $5.5 million coming from Ignition Partners. Parse is growing quickly and likely benefitted from being close to the prominent VCs in San Francisco along with Valley developers that have tied their cloud services to Parse for data storage, social layers, push notifications and user management.
Parse has added features recently, most prominently aligning themselves with both Heroku and Appcelerator. These are canny moves for the startup because it allows Parse to approach the environments that developers are working in. What will be next for Parse?
In its funding announcement the company said, “Parse and its competitors are vying to simplify mobile development and dramatically speed up time-to-market with a new generation of cloud platforms.”
Some of those competitors include StackMob, Kinvey and Urban Airship. StackMob raised $7.5 million in May of this year and Urban Airship just raised another $15 million and also acquired SimpleGeo. Kinvey is getting ready to exit TechStars Boston and has grown rapidly over the summer, now with eight employees. Parse currently has seven employees though this round of funding will give them great flexibility to hire several more.
John Connors, the former CFO of Microsoft, will join Parse’s board.
There is an opportunity for Parse to start to grow and spread its base of influence in Silicon Valley. At this point, its prime competitor would have to be considered StackMob, which vies for the attention of those same Valley developers. Parse is a YCombinator startup from this year and as such still has some work to do to catch up with StackMob from a full product perspective. At the same time, Parse’s funding comes at an interesting time as StackMob and one of its co-founders, Pouyan Salahei, are splitting ways. No word yet on where Salehi is going but early breakups of founding teams are usually not good signs for startups looking to create the illusion of continuity.
Parse has 3,500 developers in its program and clams that traffic from mobile devices it supports is growing 40% week-over-week. Parse likely caught the attention of some VCs in the Valley when it was the cloud system behind Band OF The Day, which was a recent hit in the Apple App Store.
Parse is still in Beta, as are StackMob and Kinvey. You can sign up for the beta here.