Joined by the cloud

Startup of the week: Mobeelizer

Elliot Bentley

We speak to the CEO of a Polish company attempting to bring a universal sync service to mobile platforms.

Each week, we’ll be featuring the most exciting and innovative startups around the world. To nominate startups to be featured on the site, email [email protected] (or if you’re a Java-related startup based near Santa Clara and want to be involved in JAXconf 2013, email [email protected]).

This week we travel to Poland (digitally, alas) to speak to the founders of Mobeelizer, a company offering cross-platform mobile synchronisation services. CEO Marcin Perłak talked us through the ideas behind his company.

Above: AppDesigner, Mobeelizer’s web admin client.

What’s your elevator pitch?

At Mobeelizer we are offering an easy way to add cloud synchronization into mobile apps – we call it Synchronization as a Service. Using Mobeelizer developer can very easily synchronize data and binary files between mobile devices, web and desktop solutions. They can make offline working mobile apps that exchange data with backend systems on demand or automatically, allowing mobile users to work without fast, permanent connection.

Using Mobeelizer, we automatically take care about the backend, configuration and complicated aspect of synchronization conflicts. We give the synchronization cloud and SDK for each mobile platform.

When was the company founded and where are you based?

The company was founded in mid 2011 with group of investors. We are based in Cracow, Poland but we serve clients mostly from other countries.

How many staff, and what do they do?

We are currently 6 people, combining both enterprise software knowledge and mobile experience. Most of the people work on the product, on SDK’s for new mobile platforms and on supporting the questions from clients. Me and Paulina are working on the marketing & sales part.

What technologies are you working with (client and server side)?

On the server side we use of course Java ;) with Spring and Hibernate. As we use Amazon WS, we also use extensively some of their services like RDS, ELB, EC2, S3.

On the client side we use every technology that is native for particular mobile platform. So for iOS we have written our SDK with Objective-C, for Android with Java, for Windows Mobile – it was C#.
As our main focus is to deliver the best and most easy tool for synchronization in mobile apps, we try to outsource everything we can and not to have any infrastructure inside the company, except macbooks and coffee machine ;) That’s why we rely on Google Apps, Github, Hosted Confluence and Jira instances.

What technical difficulties did you overcome to get to market?

Reaching developers and ask them to play a little bit with Mobeelizer. It is not a dropbox, where you see the benefits in 60 seconds. Like with any other developer tool, you have to play a little with Mobeelizer to see how much time it will save you, when you have a need for data synchronization in your mobile application.

What difficulties have you found scaling up (people and tech)?

As we put a lot in testing the scalability of our platform in the beginning, we are pretty sure that with our current setup and Amazon platform we are ready to conquer the world.

Due the nurture of our solution, we had to find people that combine excellent server side Java knowledge and have an extensive experience with mobile platforms. Moreover, the couldn’t be limited only to Android or iOS. That was pretty challenging, but we got it right.

What are the company’s plans for the future?

We are focusing now mainly on getting customers onboard. Regarding to our product, we are working now on supporting Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10 on Mobeelizer – so we work hard to introduce SDK’s for this platforms.

We are also considering adding ready connectors for enterprise systems like SAP, etc.

What are your three top tips for wannabe entrepreneurs?

  1. Always hire A-Players, and they have to be better than you. Setting the company with only you is tough, unless you are not thinking about building something substantial.
  2. Don’t scale too fast, and that is also regarded to previous point – do everything you can with the resources you can afford at the beginning. If you have no steady income and few millions bucks on the bank account, the cost of the A people may kill you very fast.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s easy and cheap, but may result in very profitable answers.
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