Appacitive brings BaaS platform for app developers, to tap UK & US markets

Appacitive Software Pvt Ltd, a Pune-based tech startup which has developed a BaaS (backend as a service) platform for app developers, is planning to set up offices in the UK and the US later this year and also expand its current team, a top executive of the firm told The company is eyeing the $216.5 million global BaaS market (estimated to reach $7.7 billion by 2017, according to MarketsandMarkets' report) and will be looking to raise funds in a couple of months to set up its overseas offices and strengthen its team. Although the startup has not divulged the amount it is looking to raise, it is planning to expand the current team of eight people to 15-20 in the next one year.

The firm demonstrated its product at the Techcircle Demo India event, held in Bengaluru last month.

Simply put, BaaS is a cloud computing model that uses unified application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) to connect mobile/other apps to backend cloud storage, thus providing a ready-made yet customisable backend, along with standard backend features. This means developers need not build complex backends of their own which will save time and efforts.

The Appacitive platform enables web or mobile app developers to set up scalable backends for their apps, without the need of writing any code. It is a platform-agnostic structure compatible with all operating systems and developers can easily access the necessary infrastructure for their data, user requirements, geo-location, e-mail/push notifications, etc., without managing physical servers – a definite plus, compared to traditional mobile middleware.

"At present, the US and the UK markets have a higher number of app developers and it's a lot better there in terms of a technology ecosystem than it is in India," said Nikhil Prasad, one of the three co-founders of Appacitive, explaining the need for going global. Although India has a huge and fast-growing base of mobile consumers, the app market is still catching up, he added.

Appacitive was founded by Nikhil Prasad, Yetesh Tokas and Neil Unadkat in mid-2012. The company has been in private beta since December 2012 and it is now planning to go into public beta by July 2013. Still a pre-revenue business, it claims to have seen around 500 developer sign-ups in the past couple of months.

The startup has a freemium model in place with a free usage plan (for individuals), as well as a monthly subscription-based model that starts from $150. It also offers a customisable plan for enterprises with higher usage.

"Considering that the average app development cycle is around 3-4 months, we are also expecting revenues to start coming in by July this year," said Prasad.

Before setting up Appacitive, Prasad was a technology evangelist at a travel products company called Tavisca where he was also one of the co-founders. Both Prasad and Tokas have around eight years of work experience in the IT field and both are graduated from Army Institute of Technology, Pune. Unadkat has around two years of IT experience and he graduated from Pune Institute of Computer Technology.

Going global at the first go could be a bold step for a very young tech startup, especially when it has a number of US competitors like Parse, Kinvey and StackMob who offer similar services. However, Appacitive founders seemed confident that the move would work well for them.

"While others have focused only on solving a specific problem, Appacitive provides the solution and also ensures a great user experience," said Unadkat when asked about the firm's USP.

Keep watching this space as we bring you many more Techcircle DEMO companies, their disruptive products and services.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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