App backend platform Kinvey sees Progress opportunity now

N Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Sravish Sridhar

Sravish Sridhar was looking to raise a large round of funding for his venture, Kinvey, which provided a platform for companies developing apps for mobile, when he met Yogesh Gupta, CEO, Progress Software, in the second half of 2016. That meeting ended in Progress, which makes application development software, buying out Kinvey, which offered the platform as Backend-as-a-Software (BaaS), in an all-cash deal for $49 million. Both the companies are based in Massachusetts; Kinvey in Boston and Progress in Bedford.

‘Right opportunity’

The deal happened in June when the Nasdaq-listed Progress made the announcement of the acquisition. “This was the right opportunity to take Kinvey to the next level,” says Sridhar, of his decision to sell his venture.

In an interaction with BusinessLine in 2014, Sridhar, who grew up in Chennai and did his schooling here and went to the University of Texas at Austin for an undergrad programme in computer science, had talked about raising a larger round of funding in 2016. Kinvey had previously raised about $18 million in two rounds from leading venture capital firms, apart from a seed funding of $2 million.

A first generation entrepreneur, how did Sridhar feel about selling his first venture? “It is not about the entrepreneur at all. It is about the employees and the customers,” he says. Progress, he adds, is committed to growing the Kinvey platform. In the two months since the deal was announced, the number of employees has increased from 40 to more than 60. Also, he says, Yogesh Gupta addressed most of Kinvey’s customers assuring them of the greater possibilities that the acquisition offered them.

Progress, according to a press release, has over 1,700 independent software vendor partners, nearly 80,000 enterprise customers and two million developers. “The opportunities for Kinvey’s growth are enormous,” says Sridhar, who is in Chennai now.

Kinvey had raised about $18 million from investors such as Avalon Ventures, Atlas Ventures, NTT DoCoMo Ventures and Verizon Ventures. All of them have exited in this deal with Progress, he said. Kinvey’s largest customers were in the pharmaceutical, retail, logistics and healthcare sectors. After the acquisition by Progress, Sridhar, who is now Vice-President and GM of Kinvey, said Kinvey would double down on two verticals – healthcare and manufacturing, where it had a lot of big customers.

Thanks to the acquisition, Kinvey would now be available for all of Progress’ customers. It would also now work with system integrators to further grow the platform. “The deal with Progress is all about how quickly we can scale,” he added.

Published on August 10, 2017

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