When Realtime Founder and CEO André Parreira asked himself: “What can I do to be disruptive?”the scalable answer seemed obvious: “[Let’s] create the live web.” Realtime’s instantaneous and continuous updates, which means users no longer need to refresh pages and applications. According to Rebecca Grant of VentureBeat, Realtime’s developer framework to create live web applications had previously only been available outside of the United States. Recent investments totaling $100 million from Brazil’s BRZtech firm and The Ongoing Group backed Realtime’s United States launch on August 8, 2012. Funding will support company development, marketing and outreach (including conferences, hackathons and other competitions) as it continues to offer web publishing, e-commerce and ad solutions. With its $1billion dollar valuation, Realtime joins the Billion Dollar Club as one of the most valuable tech startups.
The ORTC (Open Real-time Connectivity) is a highly scalable, cloud-hosted, many-to-many messaging system for Web and mobile apps. Due to its bidirectional permanent link between server and connected user, ORTC allows a web application to broadcast (push) data to a single user or to every connected upon demand. This is a huge improvement over needing to refresh a browser. This important change increases the speed of message delivery (low latency) and saves bandwidth costs, allowing the development of Web applications that until now would be too slow to be effective or too expensive to operate.
Three main use cases for Realtime include web publishing, e-commerce and real-time ads. Realtime allows web publishers to facilitate interactivity among users and see what others were adding, commenting and sharing from the site, for example. Sarah Perez and Finley of TechCrunch note: “The experience would be familiar to any Chartbeat users – it’s that same feeling of live connectivity that would be present here, but it could do more than just highlight clicks and shares.” Online retailers could use Realtime technology to better monitor customer purchases and offer incentives like coupons that would increase conversions. Perez and Finley suggest with Realtime, real-time ads will prove more effective than click-based metrics. Parreira adds: “Because you’re connected in real-time with a persistent connection, and it’s bi-directional, you can also see where your audience is in the moment, what they’re doing, and what they’re looking at…if you have an ad in front of you, our system can note that you’re looking at the ad, and can track the time to the millisecond.”
Since its beta release, Realtime has delivered 750,000 messages per second for its 120 million international users. Like many world-changing visions, Realtime technology was created to solve a basic problem. Parreira noted “the Internet is based on a 30-year old protocol – it’s still request/response – so it’s static. It’s not delivering on the promise that the Internet will give us a true interactive experience.” Given Realtime’s value add and momentum, it may soon be the new standard for websites and developers worldwide. The next question is, after this, can Parreira possibly think any bigger?