TrackVia, a company that provides tools that enable non-coders to build simple web apps, announced today that it raised a series B round of funding Led by Longworth Venture Partners and Fairhaven Capital. Others participating in the round include Access Venture Partners, Flywheel Ventures, Draper Associates and Allen & Company.
TrackVia promises to enable users with no programming background to create simple, cloud-hosted apps through a point-and-click interface. One selling point is the ability to import data from Excel spreadsheets, making it possible to build web apps out of existing business processes. Of course, the apps can also just be assembled from scratch.
TrackVia raised its series A back in 2008. Why raise money now? “It took a while for the market to catch up to our vision,” CEO Pete Khanna says. He says the company has never done a big marketing push, and now is the time to raise some money and sink it into sales and marketing. He says they’ll also be expanding its engineering team, and if it does acquire more customers it will need money to hire people to support them.
There are lots of other companies in this space, including Caspio and OrangeScape, plus Inuit and Zoho both have point-and-click app development tools as well. Microsoft SharePoint could also be seen as a competitor. And one of the many competitors in the space, Cogheads, folded back in 2009.
None the less, TrackVia seems to be doing well for itself. Khanna says some customers use TrackVia to build completely custom apps, but others use it to build commodity apps like CRM or help desk applications. He says these users find that off-the-shelf software is either too bloated and expensive, or they need some features specific to their own business — often times both.
The apps are hosted in the cloud, but TrackVia hosts everything in SAS70 Type II certified datacenters. Khanna says one customer, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City, used TrackVia to build a HIPAA-compliant patient care tracking app.
I asked Khanna about application portability. What if you build an app on TrackVia and then end up needed to move it elsewhere, or what if the TrackVia team gets acqui-hired or something? Khanna says you can always export your data out of the system. You can’t export the apps themselves, but he points out that if you were to decide to move off another SaaS application like Salesforce.com or Zendesk you wouldn’t be able to bring the application structure with you then either.
Trackvia is a hosted, relational database application. Users create databases by importing spreadsheets or by building from scratch. Permissions enable users to adjust access at the field-level, the record-level, and even the feature-level. The application includes integration with various ways to bring information into the database (web form builder, pop3 email receiving) and send information out (mail merge into Word documents, mail merge into email campaigns, real-time website display, automated recurring report distribution).