Appbase: Databases for Startups

By July 29, 2015


Good databases are an essential element for developers working to create applications in today’s market. Unfortunately, they are particularly tedious to manage, especially for younger companies who do not have the resources of big websites like Google or Twitter. “Appbase essentially builds a streaming database service,” says Siddharth Kothari, Appbase’s co-founder and CEO. “The idea is to enable people to build realtime applications, in the same way companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook build realtime experiences, without having the headache of dealing with complex applications.”

Appbase is managed by Kothari and his fellow founder Yash Shah. The two met in 2010 at school, and then later during an internship with Google. The two began a startup creating game applications for children. “On our peak days we had millions of kids playing games everyday,” Kothari explained. The hardest part of the job for the two of them was managing the databases. “Databases are fundamental to storage needs. They have to be always up, always running, and always reliable. You need all of those things because it’s the source on which you build everything else. I spent four months of caffeinated all-nighters just trying to keep everything up and running.”

This sparked the idea for Appbase, a database platform that can be used by anyone without them having to worry about managing it. Not every developer has the knowledge or time to deal with the tedious work of keeping up a database. A lot of them use out of the box data companies that can be limiting in the event of something like a sudden spike in site traffic. Appbase provides a platform and then manages it for these developers. “Companies lose revenue from every little delay in responses, so it’s already been shown that databases are highly critical to your success. We want to give smaller companies the ability to create realtime applications in the same way a larger company with more resources would be able to.”

Siddarth Kothari, CEO and Co-founder of Appbase.

Appbase debuted in San Antonio this March, and since then has been used by over 400 developers in 48 different countries. Recently in June, Shah and Kothari received a 2015 Arch Grant and have transferred here to St. Louis. “I think Arch Grant’s goal is to support companies with a national impact, and companies that will draw attention to St. Louis. In our case we were a startup that was very technical and was all about scaling the most technical needs of people. Since we already had users from across the globe, I think that was the kind of thing they wanted to bring in.”

Shah and Kothari are currently working on expanding Appbase and beginning to market. “There’s no set rule book for how to do this, and there’s no one to tell you what to do as you go. That provides an extra-challenge. You have to discover your own way and be really scrappy about it, and that lifestyle is one of the main reasons I really enjoy doing this.”

Check out a mini-interview with Siddharth Kothari.