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I always thought that Firebase and Backlift (Both are YC backed as well by the way) are doing something very similar, never had the chance to analyze the differences seriously though.

Edit: a "Firebase vs Parse" question on Quora [0] (it's the first answer, no login required) made me realize that Parse is much more "mobile first" (tm), with a "full service" for mobile apps, whereas Firebase is taking "just" a subset (a very big subset) of data persistence, authentication and data security (e.g. server-less apps, which can be used in also in Mobile apps, but things like push notifications etc are more "role your own")

[0] http://www.quora.com/Firebase/How-does-Firebase-differ-from-...

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