POP, an app that lets developers quickly turn paper sketches into prototypes for mobile apps, has raised an angel round of $700,000 from ZPark, Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups (which POP participated in last year) , and other investors. POP, which launched for iPhone first, also released a new version that can be used to create apps for iPads, Android devices, and desktop as well.
Created by Taipei-based startup Woomoo Inc., POP was launched in November 2012. Since then, it has signed up 150,000 users, including designers at Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Evernote, and Twitter, and been used to create 1.5 million sketches, founder Ben Lin tells TechCrunch.
The aim of the first version of the app was to make prototyping as simple as possible. To use POP, developers simply sketched their app’s wireframe and took a photo of it. POP then turned the sketch into a prototype. Lin says that before POP 1.0 launched, they handed it to a seven-year-old, who was able to figure out how to use the app after playing with it for five minutes.
POP’s second version includes features intended to make it easier for developers to get their finalized wireframes from POP onto their desktop computers for further tinkering in Photoshop, such as Dropbox sync. Duplicate projects, mockups, and links allow users to collaborate from different devices.
Other additions include the ability to scroll, which lets developers import mockups with longer page views; and support for gestures such as swiping, zooming, and tapping so designers have a better idea of how their prototype will work once it is an app.
Since POP first made its debut, more easy app prototyping tools have made it to the market. Some of POP’s most notable competitors include Proto.io and Flinto. In order to keep attracting users, Woomoo Inc.’s team expanded POP’s range of platforms (which is potentially helpful for developers creating cross-platform apps) and also added new features to make the prototyping process smoother.
“POP is the first to provide a prototyping solution on mobile and it has the lowest entry barrier, which lead to a group of loyal customers when we first launched the service. Since we now support multiple platforms on iPhone, iPad, Android, and even the Web, users can be connected through POP, which is not yet available for other prototyping services,” says Lin.