Real-time Web Pioneer Realtime Raises $100M for Major U.S. Push

Realtime, the Portugese startup with significant presence in Europe and Brazil, today announced that it will be launching in the U.S. with new offices in Santa Monica and New York, with a fresh $100 million round from Sãu Paulo-based BRZTech Holding. Realtime, which was originally founded in 1997 as Internet Business Technologies, is positioning itself as a key player in the move from static to real-time content on the web, as more and more sites follow in the footsteps of pioneers like Facebook and Twitter.

Realtime offers developers the chance to build similar, cloud-hosted apps for both web and mobile based on its real-time messaging interface. That means developers can quickly and easily convert existing HTML to enable delivery of real-time updating content that doesn’t require a browser refresh. It’s similar to what Meteor is attempting to provide, but Realtime is monetizing out of the gate, having already signed up 1,000 developers since launching in early beta, with plenty of hackathons planned on the horizon to give the world a taste of what’s possible using its platform.

“The internet is changing into this real-time web, and this shows our commitment to be the leader, and to gather as many followers as possible to help drive the real-time revolution,” Realtime CEO André Parreira said in an interview, describing the use of this massive new round. “60 percent of the investment is for R&D and human resources, and the other 40 percent is marketing and all the other things around implementation of a new company in the U.S.”

Realtime’s solution consists of two parts; an engine to drive the real-time web, called the Open Realtime Connectivity (ORTC), and the language, xRTML, to help developers leverage that power and connect it to existing languages via APIs for Javascript, PHP, mobile programming environments and more. In terms of applications, the possibilities are broad, but Parreira points to opportunities for companies to reach out to and interact with their website viewers in real-time, allowing them to respond to their needs in the same environment where they’re interacting with content as they’re doing it.

With its new focus and huge new round, Realtime’s focus on the U.S. market could help it become the de facto standard in real-time web-based programming, but it’s still early days for the field with a lot of parties looking to be involved. With a free entry-level plan and pay-as-you go models beyond that with reasonable rates, it could grab a lot of the early interest from web-focused businesses.

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