Business

Here are 5 mobile startups that build businesses, not apps

SAN FRANCISCO — During his keynote discussion at Demo Mobile, Vinod Khosla said that “mobile is central to everything.” Whether you are interested in selling boutique clothing, creating a community of sports fans, or publishing media about beer, having a mobile presence is key. The fourth session of startup pitches at today’s event was titled “mobile platform” and featured products “to build your mobile business on.”

This is the first Demo Mobile with Erick Schonfeld serving as executive producer. During an interview before the event, Schonfeld told VentureBeat that mobile technology has impacted businesses on all sides of the spectrum and there is a growing need for products that help them adapt accordingly.

“Mobile technology has completely transformed workflow, and not just at the consumer level,” he said. “We think of mobile as centering around apps, but you can also build mobile platforms. Whenever you are designing for mobile, simplicity rules and there are a lot of complex processes that have to be simplified.”

The five startups presenting in this category provide tools for businesses to get the most out of the mobile realm.

Moxtra is a mobile content collaboration platform. Founder and CEO Subrah Iyar previously founded WebEx. On stage, he said that Moxtra is another tool that helps people work and manage projects more effective. The product is built around the concept of “shared binders.” Using these binders, you can collect and organize any type of digital content, personalize it, and go on to share and collaborate. It extends the capability of other applications, like Evernote and DropBox. The goal is to “master the chaos of project management and team collaboration.” Moxtra can also live within an application, like Salesforce, to organize sales efforts.

Armor5 is a cloud service that provides “the world’s first zero-touch access to all enterprise network resources.” It offers mobile workers secure access to their applications, content, and data while they are on the go. On stage, CEO Suresh Balasubramanian said BYOD has reached a tipping point in the enterprise.

“Workers want all their content and data on their devices wherever they are,” he said. “We have come up with a service that delivers that in a secure and compliant manner. We are more than just security; we are compliant collaboration.”

The “Armor5 cloud space” offers security and control for IT teams, a unified gateway for all client services for cloud providers, and improved productivity for remote workers as well as analytics.

Built.io builds enterprise apps in a snap. Built.io is a mobile backend and application development platform. CEO Neha Sampat said setting up a backend for mobile should be a thing of the past and that Built.io’s platform enables developers to “build dream apps” quickly, easily turning on features like notifications, user authentication, social media integration, and uploads. Built.io also offers a content management systems for businesses and provides analytics. It is the first mobile product from Raw Engineering, an enterprise app developer that works with large companies to build and deploy mobile apps.

Followapps is a Software-as-a-Service platform for companies to measure the returns on their mobile marketing campaigns for their brands and engage their mobile audience. Using the technology, marketing professionals can launch, measure, and optimize their mobile presence from a centralized place based on actionable metrics. CEO Samir Addamine said Followapps is the first company to link a mobile users’ activity with a CRM. The platform has five key features — a dashboard, analytics, the capability to watch competitors, create conversations with the mobile audience, and app release management tools. Featured clients include L’Oreal, Lancome, The Body Shop, and the French bank BNP Paribas. Followapps is based in France, but it’s looking to establish a greater presence in the United States.

Socialsign.in is a free service that augments commercial Wi-Fi access. It provides data access for all your devices at participating locations in exchange for sharing your social identity. By doing so, the platform collects information for businesses about their visitors. CEO and cofounder Mike Perrone said that one of the best thing businesses can do is provide a strong data connection, and they can use this opportunity to tap into what their consumers want. For example, a participating bar was able to gain greater insight into what music their visitors wanted based on their activity.


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