Web

Realtime lands $100M in funding to actually make the Web real-time

realtime logoAs the Web has evolved, so has its speed. We want instant results. We live on autocomplete. We refresh our news streams. And real-time functionality has brought us as close to a constant flux of information as possible.

However, a real-time information feed is hardly a site standard yet, and aptly named startup Realtime wants to speed the adoption up. Today, the Brazil-based company announced its U.S. launch as well as a new round of fundraising to the tune of $100 million. The startup has developed a proprietary technology that it says will take us from the ‘real-time Web’ to the ‘live Web.’

Founder André Parreira tells me that the team founded Realtime after seeing that the Internet as we currently know it is working with a rather old infrastructure. “Near-real-time solutions such as AJAX, Comet, and other can become costly and don’t actually offer real-time,” he tells me. “Also, with the rapid expansion of mobile devices that are connecting to the Internet and constantly sending and receiving data, it’s clear that a solution to use less bandwidth and dispatch information faster and more efficiently is a true need that Realtime can surely answer to.”

That all sounds well and good, but how is Realtime doing this exactly? To be more specific, the startup has developed a set of tools and new programming frameworks (called xRTML and ORTC) which can be integrated to create a cloud-based — you guessed it — real-time messaging system. Better yet, it’s with one simple line of code. Realtime is free up to a certain point, or pay-as-you-go if your traffic is particularly high. 

“We feel like the new Web is a live Web, and this new Web needs a new approach that we provide,” Parreira says. Still not entirely certain what this actually looks like? Check out this demo video showing one example of what the Realtime infrastructure can do for a client site.

What Realtime is doing right now is very much an enterprise-facing platform — we’re not looking at a new Twitter competitor trying to take advantage of the service’s recent, small fall from grace. Instead Realtime is targeting the likes of publishers, advertisers, and media agencies that want to implement a way to connect with their customers and site visitors. Parreira tells me the company will soon announce several high-profile clients and partners Realtime is already working with.

The $100 million is going to go into research and development, which Parreira says is “part of our DNA,” human resources, and to further building Realtime’s global business and brand while readying for its commercial debut.

As previously mentioned, Realtime isn’t making a beeline for Twitter’s business in lieu of its recent distancing from developers. But when asked whether it could be a part of alternative solution, Parreira says “We definitely could [be], hands down.”

“Our technology will provide real-time experience — and for that, Twitter will be only one application — because Realtime is providing a really democratic online experience,” he says. “Which is creating not a product, but really an industry.”

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