Unwired Nation’s Partnership with Rackspace

At the Starbucks across the street from Rackspace, Stacey Zuniga, a founder of Unwired Nation, last Friday talked about the company’s latest partnership.
“We’re here to enable the enablers,” Zuniga said.
Austin-based Unwired Nation creates a mobile app platform for companies. It recently joined the Rackspace Partner Program to offer mobile apps as a service to select Rackspace customers.

Stacey Zuniga, founder of Unwired Nation

Zuniga was on his way to a meeting with Andrew Schroepfer, vice president of enterprise strategy at Rackspace, at its San Antonio headquarters, to talk about the program.
Every company wants a mobile app for its business, Zuniga said. Unwired Nation can deliver uniquely branded apps quickly and cheaply, he said.
The problem is that for many large companies like car dealerships or pharmacies, it’s difficult for them to offer their customers a mobile version of their app across all the different types of mobile phone platforms.
But Unwired Nation can create a mobile app for them that scales to fit the size of their business, Zuniga said.
Founded in 2004, Unwired Nation has gone through several changes or “pivots” as its known in the startup world. Now the company focuses solely on delivering mobile applications through its platform that focuses on delivering affordable, scalable business functions.
“In this space, we’re the non-sexy solution that makes money,” Zuniga said.
Driving Force Auto in Houston with hundreds of dealerships is one of Unwired Nation’s customers. So is Q2ebanking, an online banking company. Rackspace chose Unwired Nation to partner with because “they happen to be in our backyard,” said Schroepfer. “Their technology seems unique.”
Unwired Nation has created a special messaging system that operates in the background of the app. It allows the app developers to closely communicate with customers and it keeps all the messages in one place.
“That solves some real problems,” Schroepfer said. “There is some real intellectual property to making mobile rich. We want to have that solution be available to our customers.”
“Mobile is not going away,” he said. “It’s only going to get bigger.”
Rackspace launched Appmatcher aimed at businesses. It’s still in beta form, Schroepfer said.
“We launched a marketplace in a crowded marketplace,” Schroepfer said.
Rackspace and Unwired Nation have selected certain markets to target and they have identified customers that would benefit for the mobile app platform, Schroepfer said.
Unwired Nation with 15 employees is ready to gear up for the new customers, Zuniga said. Late last year, the company closed on a $6.5 million round of funding that will help the company expand.

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