Mobify: Google, Starbucks, Lululemon Sign Up With Vancouver-Based Mobile Media Startup

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TORONTO - For a small shop with only 25 employees, Vancouver-based Mobify has an impressive list of clients, including Starbucks, Lululemon, Bosch, Condé Nast and Siemens.

Oh, and then there's their partnership with a little company called Google.

When the search giant planned a campaign to encourage businesses to make their websites mobile-phone compatible, it recruited Mobify to help make that job easier.

"Today it's quite a complex task to make an existing website or e-commerce store mobile, because of how many technologies are usually involved running an online store (the size of) Lululemon's," says Mobify co-founder Igor Faletski.

"Mobify makes it very easy for a mobile web developer to go in and extend their website to any device they want to target without having to do any of the work changing the backend of their site."

The company now provides services to over 20,000 websites and in 2011 had almost 167 million unique visitors hit a site powered by its technology.

Although Mobify is a tiny speck compared to some of the companies it works with and it isn't situated in the tech hive of Silicon Valley, Calif., getting the big names to sign on with the start-up company hasn't been a problem, Faletski says.

"The beautiful thing with the web is even though we're in Vancouver and a smaller company, on the web you can have an amazing presence just the same," he says.

"We started getting major customers coming to us and they didn't care we were in Vancouver, they just cared about our vision and technology."

Getting Google's endorsement has certainly helped too, he adds.

"Definitely we're seeing more users come to our site, more leads every time there's a joint announcement with Google, and we hope our technology will be better integrated with their technology," Faletski says.

"It's more business and more insights into how the web is evolving and what Mobify can do to be a part of it. We get to learn from a web giant and see how they see the market and what's important for them. I think we'll have a lot more interesting campaigns planned this year, making sure (people realize) it's not just apps in mobile that are important, websites are really fundamental."

Mobify is also trying to convince companies that their websites should be optimized to work with tablets, particularly Apple's iPad.

"A trend that caught even us by surprise is how quickly the iPad is getting adopted, we're seeing some sites getting close to 25 to 30 per cent of their traffic from mobile right now and half easily is iPad," Faletski says.

"With tablets, most websites kind of work — if there's no Flash. You can make out what the text is, or zoom in so it kind of works, but what's happening is the competitive environment for the web is quickly evolving. We'll see more and more websites becoming app-like and in a year or two that'll be the (standard) for anybody who wants to do business on the iPad.

"Today it's enough, but in a couple of years you'll have to have your website performing on a different level to keep your customers happy."

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