Why Slingr Loves Rackspace (And Why Rackspace Is Invaluable For Growing Startups)

By Justin Malvin, President, Slingr

When you build a social platform that allows users to engage with one another app-to-app as well as via the web, your server traffic is often unpredictable. Throw in the fact Slingr sees some celebrities checking in with our platform at some of Southern California’s most popular hangouts, and predicting our cloud needs becomes anyone’s guess on any given day.

Slingr is a Location-Based Social Gifting™ technology that lets you send drinks, in real time, from home to your friends who are at their favorite bar or restaurant. We designed the platform as a way to generate ad-less revenue while creating more meaningful remote social experiences — thus aligning the needs of large businesses, storefronts and customers.

My business partners, Fernando Vasquez, Aaron Saltzman, Chase DeLuca and Paul Villanueva, and I founded the company in 2011, but joined the Rackspace Startup Program earlier this year. After experimenting with other web hosting providers, Fernando, our Vice President of Product, heard about Rackspace and the Startup Program and began the complex process of migrating hosts. We took the move as an opportunity to expand from a single shared-hosting environment to a dynamic and scalable infrastructure leveraging multiple Cloud Servers, Load Balancers and Cloud Databases. This is where Rackspace’s Fanatical Support really came into play.

We’re a small team building a big product, so to have a group of Rackers truly act as an extension of our team helps us out tremendously. We’ve been on the phone until early hours of the morning with second- and third-shift Rackers. While we know there are other cloud providers out there, we bet none of them would have stayed with us all through the night troubleshooting a server or getting ready for a high traffic event.

To experiment how reliable Rackspace’s platform truly is, Rackspace’s Chief Startup Liaison Officer Robert Scoble recently caught up with us to talk about startups and Slingr, and also to see what happens when one of the most followed technology influencers on Twitter checks into on of our “Slingr Spots.”

We met Scoble at Stein’s Beer Garden in Mountain View, Calif. Within minutes of him checking in with the Slingr app, drinks began pouring in from all over the country. Based on the data we compiled using New Relic, Rackspace’s servers handled the load extremely well; our users never saw any site slow-down or service interruption. Plus, capturing Location-Based Social Gifting at its finest on video, with one of the tech world’s most notable luminaries, was an absolute thrill.

Rackspace enables us to focus on our product, our venues and our users, instead of configuring Load Balancers and Cloud Servers. Our scaling needs are unpredictable so to have the advantage of specialists at Rackspace, as well as the perks of the Startup Program, is priceless to help us continue building the future of our company.


  1. Slingr is an app to buy a drink for others. assuming they all have slingr and the establishment supports it as well. big uphill battle on those but in addition this idea has such a limited potential market size. People buying drinks for their friends because they couldn’t. Well how many drinks are they wanting the person to drink? it’s use is also pretty limited in application buy someone a meal? but them casino chips? the cost of all which will be higher due to the middle men involved.


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