By 2016 mobile app development spending will reach $100 billion worldwide, with a compound annual growth rate of 158%. These days just a fifth of development is for websites: 80% is apps, with 67% of those being outsourced to third parties. AppGyver has, clearly, read the news. The San Francisco-and-Helsinki-headquartered firm offers two products for consumers to build their own apps: Composer and Steroids. The former offers an opportunity to create alongside a visual editor, while Steroids allows one to build with command-line tools.
The traction has been extremely promising. From Q1 2013 the company has managed around 25,000 developers and 13,000 apps. And, as CEO Marko Lehtimaki tells Red Herring, those figures are just the beginning. “In the next 12 months, we’re planning to offer more services and products for the enterprise, as well as scale our operations. We’ve been growing fast, and expect to hit 100,000 developers by the end of the year.”
Companies such as Box, Nokia, IBM, Cisco and Deloitte are already using AppGyver’s solutions. The business model is relatively simple: AppGyver’s platforms are free to use, with developers paying for additional value-adding services. Some are provided by the company itself, while others come courtesy of third parties. The company is currently funded by $3.5 million of angel capital from Initial Capital and Open Ocean, after a primary seed round from friends and family. And despite weighty competition from the likes of Adobe PhoneGap and Sencha, Lehtimaki is confident AppGyver has the tools to succeed in the market.
“AppGyver is the only platform that allows you to build native-quality apps with just web technologies,” he says. “Our core technology makes HTML5 based apps indistinguishable from native apps. This is important, since no one wants their apps to look and feel like mobile websites. In addition, we provide a free end-to-end app development platform, with the right tools for every task: prototyping, bootstrapping initial version of your app, and professional development tools for finishing the app.”
The market response, especially to Steroids, has been promising. “You can see that the team put a lot of work into it, and the product feels right,” says Paris-based software engineer and technology blogger Marc G. Gaultier.
And with Composer put into beta just this May, it seems that AppGyver is moving along the growth chain more quickly than ever. Its drag-and-drop programming model, which opens up professional-level app development to the uninitiated, “is a growing trend, as developers are in great demand, new computer science classes are springing up in schools of all sizes and numerous efforts are underway to get kids coding at a young age,” writes App Dev Trends’ David Ramel.
“AppGyver’s platform is best suited for apps that are data- and content-driven,” adds Lehtimaki. “Basically this means anything but games. If you’re building a location based service, social networking service, consumer app or something for internal use in enterprise, AppGyver’s platform is designed for you to build awesome apps.”