Google beefs up Cloud Platform with Firebase purchase

Firebase is a cloud service designed to power and store app data in real-time

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 21, 2014
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Google has made it clear in the past that it wants to take on Amazon Web Services by luring as many developers as it can onto its cloud platform. It has already started incentivizing them with free stuff, and now it is adding some new tech that will make it easier for developers to build, and store, their apps in real time.

The company announced on Tuesday that it has purchased Firebase, a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative apps, No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Firebase will be joining the Google Cloud Platform team, though James Tamplin, Co-Founder and CEO of the company, said in a blog post that it will continue to operate in the same way that it always has, and that its users would not see any difference.

"You can continue to count on the same great development experience, tools, libraries and community commitment that have become synonymous with Firebase," he wrote. "If you’re a developer who has built an app on top of Firebase, nothing will change for you, and you can continue to use Firebase as you normally would. We’ll continue to be platform agnostic and provide clients for iOS, Android, the web, and more."

Founded in 2011, Firebase's platform allows developers to build real-time mobile and Web apps in which data is instantly updated whenever data changes, across every device. It also allows developers to work offline, and which will instantly synchronize when the app regains connectivity.

The idea is to make app development faster and easier and that is what Google wants to provide for developers on the Cloud Platform.

"With Firebase, developers are able to easily sync data across web and mobile apps without having to manage connections or write complex sync logic. Firebase makes it easy to build applications that work offline and has full-featured libraries for all major web and mobile platforms, including Android and iOS," Greg DeMichillie, Director of Product Management at Google, wrote.

"By combining Firebase with Google Cloud Platform, we’ll be able to build the best end-to-end platform for mobile application development."

For Firebase, Tamplin outlined two benefits from joining Google.  First, of course, is Google's scale and resources. Second, though, was the fact that both companies have "highly complementary" products and missions.

"Both the Firebase and Google Cloud Platform teams come to work each day for the same reason: to help developers create extraordinary experiences," said Tamplin. "By joining forces, Firebase developers will gain access to a powerful cloud infrastructure suite, and Cloud Platform customers will gain access to our rapid development capabilities. Together we’ll deliver a complete platform for mobile and web apps."

Google will be demonstrating new Firebase features and integrations with Cloud Platform at the Google Cloud Platform Live on November 4th.

The San Francisco-based Firebase has raised $7 million in funding from investors that included Union Square Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners,  New Enterprise Associates and Greylock Partners.

Google’s 2014  acquisitions

Firebase is acquisition number 29 for Google this year. One more and they get a free sub!

In addition to Firebase, here they all are, in order:

Bitspin, the Zurich-based maker of the Timely clock app. That was followed by: cyber security Impermium; artificial intelligence company Deepmind; soundauthentication firm SlickLogin; ad fraud detector; Android gamedeveloper Green Throttle Games; drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace; back-end online retail solution Rangespan; ad attribution company Adometry; restaurant website builder Appetas; cloud monitoring service StackdriverQuest Visual, the company behind translation service WordLens; mobile device manager Divide; satellite maker Skybox;  video advertising company mDialog; wireless-communications startup Alpental Technologies; performance optimization platform Appurify; playlist generator Songza; smart messaging assistant Emu; video marketing company DirectrJetpac, a company dedicated to analyzing andorganizing digital pictures; and mechanical engineering and product-design company Gecko DesignZync Render, a cloud-based visual effects storageand rendering platform; Lift Labs, the creators of an electronic device that improves the quality of life for those with Parkinson’s and essential tremor;  and opinion poll provider Polar.

And, of course, the company bought smart thermostat company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, the most the company has ever spent on a startup acquisition. Nest has since bought two startups of its own to add to the Google family: energy monitoring platform MyEnergy and video-monitoring and security startup Dropcam.

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