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PubNub Takes Communication To The Next Level…And Pulls In The Cash

Things have obviously changed a lot since the days of hiding in the basement staircase so your mom wouldn’t hear your phone conversation on the cordless. We’re now able to communicate in realtime through a crazy amount of services: texting, chatting online, video chat, Facebook, email.


The list goes on and on. At this point I’d bet it’s pretty rare that a new communication technology blows your mind, but get ready for an explosion. PubNub is a cloud-based real time messaging service that recently broke a record by processing over 100,000 messages in one second.

Take a second to absorb that number, because it’s really pretty incredible.

PubNub has 9 data centers worldwide that process messages to web and mobile apps in approximately one tenth of a second. Their goal is to facilitate communication between large groups of people in real-time and so far they have over 1,000 customers who are willing to pay for that service.

They also have 4.5 million dollars to play with, after completing a Series A round of financing in which they grabbed the attention of Relay Ventures and Silicon Valley’s TiE Angels.

How Did They Do It?

That money is going to be put toward expanding their platform and adding more features, but let’s take a look at what they did to lead up to the point where they could deliver such an awesome product and pull in the cash.


After two years of bootstrapping, PubNub now has 10 full-time employees and 10 contractors working in the San Francisco Bay area. Their product can be used on multiple platforms, including (but not limited to) iOS, Android, Javascript, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Node.JS, Python and Ruby.

Your product is only going to get so far if it only works on one platform. If someone really digs what you’re doing but your product only works on iPhone and they have a Android, that’s one potential customer you’ve lost. This focus on accessibility is essential for any web-based program, especially as technology grows and changes.


Other companies have provided the ability to communicate with large groups of people quickly, but before PubNub it was really expensive to access those services. PubNub has a totally reasonable and accessible pricing plan: you can choose to sign up for the free service—which provides you with 1 million free messages per month—but if you’ve got higher volume, you’ve got two options.

The lower volume one is called PubNub Go and is $15 per month with an additional $1 per million messages. The higher volume one is called PubNub Galaxy, which works on a sliding scale based on exactly what services the customers need.



So basically they did two things: they identified a need (faster affordable communication between large groups) and then made it accessible across the board (making sure it works with multiple platforms). It seems like a simple formula, but you’d be surprised how hard it can be to hit it on the head.

But hey, I’d say $4.5 million probably makes all that work worth the effort.


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Author : Emma McGowan

Emma is a proud native of Burlington, Vermont, who has lived in six different countries over the past two years. She's living and loving the global nomad life and writing about technology and startups everywhere she goes. Check out more of her writing about tech on (the more titillating stuff) KinkAndCode.. Follow her on Twitter @MissEmmaMcG.

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