Firebase evolved from Envolve, a prior startup founded by James Tamplin and Andrew Lee in 2011. Envolve provided developers an API that enables the integration of online chat functionality into their websites. After releasing the chat service, Tamplin and Lee found that it was being used to pass application data that wasn’t chat messages. Developers were using Envolve to sync application data such as game state in real time across their users. Tamplin and Lee decided to separate the chat system and the real-time architecture that powered it. They founded Firebase as a separate company in April 2012.
Firebase Inc. raised seed funding in May 2012. The company further raised Series A funding in June 2013. In October 2014, Firebase was acquired by Google. In October 2015, Google acquired Divshot to merge it with the Firebase team. Since the acquisition, Firebase has grown inside Google and expanded their services to become a unified platform for mobile developers. Firebase now integrates with various other Google services to offer broader products and scale for developers. In January 2017, Google acquired Fabric and Crashlytics from Twitter to join those services to the Firebase team.