Today I’m talking with Robin Orheden, a Lund-based developer who is behind UserApp – a new SaaS tool to help developers integrate user management into applications. Essentially, UserApp claim to take all the pain out of building user management systems, taking care of authentication, invoicing, payments and security. Whilst this solution will lend itself to side projects and weekend hacks, it’s still unclear whether bigger software teams would want to outsource such a large portion of their application to a third-party. There was a sizeable discussion on this topic over at Hacker News for those interested.
Hi Robin, tell us a little more about UserApp
We got the idea for UserApp in February 2013 and we basically started right away. The logo and name were set the same day and we coded from day one. Our original idea was to launch just a week afterwards – the hacker way. However, we realised that this was something that we were really passionate about and wanted to do more seriously and for that reason the launched was postponed several times until we finally released it October 5, 2013.
So, in more detail – tell us about your solution
UserApp is a cloud-based user management API for web apps. It’s beneficial for developers who want to save time. If you have an idea for an app, you will probably need to develop a user management system to support it.
Instead of wasting time creating something that is “functional”, we provide something that is amazing. This means that instead of putting a lot of time into the “boring user management part”, you can focus on what you do best. The thing that you want to develop. Your core business.
Tell us about the UserApp team
We all co-founded UserApp in Febraury 2013. No CEO at the moment because we don’t believe that it is neccessary with our current company structure.
I am 24 years old and been coding since I was 8. I met Timothy in 2008 when I joined Aspis as a developer. I then quit Apsis to join the consultancy firm Tretton37, and then later joined Timothy at Comfirm – a company which he had created around the SaaS-tool AlphaMail.
I mostly work with the back-end of UserApp, making certain the system is secure and easy to integrate with.
Timothy is 23 years old and a bit of an all-rounder. He hangs around in both the back and front-end of UserApp. He was a part of the Apsis development team for 3 years and then also joined me a Comfirm. These days, he does a lot of design and front-end work on UserApp.
Robin is 24 years old and our marketing guy. He was also a part of the Comfirm team and brings a great marketing/economics skillset to the UserApp team.
So, how are you funding UserApp?
We currently fund UserApp with money from consultancy work that we do on the side, but have been contacted by various VCs after the launch yesterday. So we are evaluating if they have anything interesting to offer. Though it’s important to note that, money is not our primary objective.
We would rather do consultancy work on the side and fund it ourselves than to take in external capital and lose control of the company. Vision is something that we strongly share in the company. And the vision comes before the money.
What is the vision then?
Our goal is to become the top-of-mind application for User Management systems. The obvious choice when you create a new web app. Location-wise, we love Sweden, but feel like we want to be in the Valley where most things are happening, so the goal is to relocate to the warmth of California within a year.
Tell us a little bit about the competitive landscape
Our top competitors are:
- StormPath (recently raised $8M USD).
- Gigya (recently raised $25M USD).
- DailyCred (funded by Google Ventures).
Basically, there are just a handful of companies that we see as our main competitors, but it’s a new market and we believe that we have the upper-hand since our product differs a lot from our competitors.