As mobile usage is exploding in both consumer and enterprise environments, the ability to allow non-technical staff live-edit applications will be a widespread demand, says Bob Moul, the CEO of the Old City mobile firm that built Artisan and has taken that signature project as its new company name.
“If you want to try A/B testing or change design or functionality for an app that a user has already downloaded… Right now you have to recompile the app, resubmit it to Apple, and then you’re waiting for the user to listen to that little red dot to encourage them to download your update. Until they do, your app never changes,” said Moul, who is also the volunteer president of Philly Startup Leaders. “For businesses, that’s really frustrating. You really want to make a change right away to put out a simple change. We’re doing that better than anyone else.”
Since the beta launch last fall, more than 125 companies trialed Artisan, said Moul, including a dozen fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola and Aol, among others. Forty of the country’s largest 100 retail brands are in some process of using, trialing or coming on as a full client, said Moul, which is why the firm launched their full general availability eTail West, the large industry conference.
The interest must have helped, in addition to $1.5 million in funding that landed last spring, Artisan doubled it, raising another, quieter $1.5 million round, Moul said.
In a year since coming on as CEO, Moul has led appRenaissance, founded by now CTO Scott Wasserman, from 5-person mobile contracting shop to a fully-rebranded 23-person mobile product company. They’ve outgrown their Cherry Street offices, so in May, they’ll take the fourth floor of the building that held the now-shuttered Tangerine from Starr Restaurants at 232 Market Street.
“It’s been a busy year,” said Moul, who talks with a kind of defended confidence and enthusiasm not always associated with Philadelphia startups. “But I couldn’t be happier or more ready for the growth we’re going to see.”