Blaast, one of the leading cloud-based providers of mobile app solutions, today announced the immediate availability of its cloud-based mobile app platform. This platform will enable mobile app developers to more easily extend their global reach, while capitalizing on the growing demand for mobile apps in emerging markets. The Helsinki-based startup also announces its latest milestones, reaching 4 million downloads and a 4,000-strong developer community, along with strategic partnerships with key operators in Asia, adding yet another 30 million subscribers to its network of 46 million users.
Currently, there are over 3 billion feature phones, with the majority located in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. As a result, Blaast sees huge opportunities in these markets for mobile app developers as they look to extend their reach beyond more saturated marketplaces.
“Because Blaast’s mobile app platform is cloud-based it is able to make low-end mobile phones smarter by pushing the more complex functions to the cloud. As a result, Blaast requires less memory and data compared to device-based web browsing and native apps,” said Joonas Hjelt, co-founder and CEO of Blaast. “Our approach has really struck a chord with developers as well as operators looking to extend their reach both geographically as well as to the low-end device segment. In fact, we are on course to support over 500 million Blaast-enabled feature phones by 2014.”
As part of leveraging the Blaast cloud-based platform, developers are provided with an array of tools as well as free global distribution. Blaast aims to make app distribution quick and easy: once an app or update is published it is instantly distributed to all Blaast users, therefore allowing developers to sidestep device fragmentation issues which once limited reach. Blaast also offers developers a revenue share model based on app usage, allowing developers to benefit from recurring revenues.
For users, Blaast is a subscription-based service averaging approximately $1.50 per month. This provides users unlimited access to over 100 mobile apps including more popular mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, social games, and news. All apps are available in one download and are instantly compatible with over 2,000 mobile phone models such as Nokia Asha, Blackberry and hundreds of local brands in emerging markets. Blaast will also soon be available on Android in Q4 2012.
“As hardware becomes more affordable, heavy-data-consuming software still remains a challenge. With Blaast, we aim to remove the barriers and open the door to the mobile app world through one, affordable, low-data consuming application,” added Hjelt.
Blaast was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Helsinki (Finland). Its investors include the founding engineers of Skype (Ambient Sound Investment), Veturi Venture Accelerator, Steve Blank, and ex-Nokia SVP Pekka Vartiainen.
Blaast is also one of the 9 companies that were selected by EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (EIT ICT Labs) for the EIT awards 2012. Check out the interview of EIT ICT Labs with Blaast’s founder as an award nominee: