(Photo by James Cullum)
D.C. startup Hatch Apps raised $1.3 million, and is publicly launching its platform that automates the process of building custom apps, said CEO Param Jaggi.
With the funding from a group of angel investors, the company is looking to expand its engineering and sales infrastructure teams as it adds features and capabilities to its product, said Jaggi, who cofounded the company with COO Amelia Friedman in August 2015. Hatch was a realLIST 2018 honoree and won the 2017 Technical.ly DC award for Tech Startup of the Year.
The startup’s SaaS platform aims to allow organizations to build and launch mobile and web apps without writing code, and doing so in a matter of days, rather than months if they worked with software development agencies. Once launched, the company provides a management system that allows the users to make updates and add content or features. The platform also automates back-end processes such as server storage, data management and updates.
“The goal with Hatch is for the customer to stay good at what they’re good at, and allow us to take care of the rest,” Jaggi said. Separating itself from agencies that charge a large payment upfront, the startup offers a flat fee of $1,000/month.
With that ease and price comes a goal to allow more entrepreneurs and nonprofits to start businesses and get access to high-quality apps.
Early work shows that it’s a key player in helping to launch new ventures. The company has already worked with D.C. tech companies, startups and nonprofits, Jaggi said. Among the early customers for the company was Ashoka, an Arlington, Va.–based, organization that works with social entrepreneurs around the world. Working with Hatch allowed the org to create a storytelling app to link the global network, Jaggi said.
Jaggi and Friedman, who previously led the Student Language Exchange and is a cofounder of Vinetta Project DC started the company after meeting as fellows at the Halcyon Incubator, the Georgetown-based program that provides resources for social entrepreneurs. Friedman previously led the Student Language Exchange and is a cofounder of Vinetta Project DC, which helps female founders raise money. Jaggi previously invented a device that reduces carbon emission in cars.
“I believe that Hatch Apps addresses a larger need for access to affordable software development, and I see great potential in Param and Amelia as a cofounding team,” Dr. Sachiko Kuno, a cofounder of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals who is chair of Halcyon, said in a statement. Kuno was among a group of angel investors who contributed to the round of funding. Others include Trenor Williams, Jonathon Perrelli, Nue Capital, Bob Koran of Dingman Angels, and Bob Latchford, CFO of UrbanStems.
In 2016, Jaggi and Friedman created the 2016 Election Game, a satirical card game that sold more than 4,000 decks. It ended up contributed funding that they used to build the initial version of the platform. The first customers came as the startup participated in the Y-Combinator Fellowship, which is a program of the Silicon Valley seed accelerator that provides funding and support to early-stage startups.
The public launch comes after the platform was launched in beta in August. Now, the team has grown to 23 people, and they’ve been intentional about how they’re building a company with steps like establishing core values. With the new funding, Jaggi said hiring will continue.
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