This is not entirely correct. Backendless Platform is available in 3 different products. You are talking about only one of them — Backendless Pro. And you are right, we changed the model for that product because with the previous model we could not generate any revenue. However, the Cloud version of Backendless has a free tier and that has not changed. With the features you get in the Cloud version it goes above and beyond then what you get with Firebase. For example:
- Support for relations including one-to-one and one-to-many
- Support for rich data querying using traditional SQL syntax
- Ability to override all available APIs with Backendless business logic (aka Cloud Functions in the Firebase lingo)
- User interface for working with your data which makes sense (instead of a JSON document editor)
- Security system which can be configured using UI rather than some quirky syntax.
- Code generators and project templates generated specifically for your app.
Hope this helps.