AppGyver, an HTML5-centric development platform for quickly building mobile apps, today announced that it has raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Initial Capital, an early investor in companies like Supercell, with participation by Finnish VC firm Open Ocean Capital, which was established by the founders of MySQL.
As AppGyver CEO Marko Lehtimaki told me earlier this week, the company has been growing very fast since it expanded from the basic prototyping app it launched with to launching its full-blown development tool Steroids.js last year. Since then, the company went from a few thousand users to about 25,000 active developers on the platform today. Lehtimaki expects that given the company’s growth curve, there will be over 100,000 users by the end of the year. In total, people have built about 10,000 apps on the platform so far, and about 10 percent of them are currently available in app stores or being deployed internally in enterprises.
Given the fact that the company now has a stable platform in place, the team decided to go out and raise new funding to capitalize on this momentum. As Lehtimaki told me, Initial Capital immediately got the idea behind the service. The firm, after all, has invested in a number of gaming firms and many of them tried to do HTML5 games in the past. Initial Capital, he also noted, was looking for a company that could be disruptive in the non-games app market, too.
At the same time, the team wanted a firm with enterprise experience as well, which led them to Open Ocean. While enterprise isn’t a major focus for AppGyver right now, Lehtimaki expects this to change later this year, once the team has all of the security and authentication features in place that many enterprise companies expect from it.
Besides enterprise, AppGyver plans to use the new funding to hire more developers (it’s already grown from eight to 20 employees since last August) and double down on expanding its platform. While AppGyver allows developers to use most PhoneGap plug-ins, for example, some can get buggy when they are integrated with Steroids.js. The team is working on building a library of maintained and supported plug-ins to overcome this problem. In addition, it’s working on building its own plug-ins to support features like OAuth and background GPS access.
Also on the roadmap is Composer, a new service that will give developers a highly visual interface for quickly prototyping working apps.
What AppGyver doesn’t want to become, however, is a Parse-like platform-as-a-service player. It doesn’t want to start offering backend service for developers. Instead, it wants to play nice with them and be the middleware for developers who want to build their apps on top of these services.