Startups

Center City software firm Promptworks has been acquired

The nearly decade-old software firm is the third company to be acquired by Virginia-based Modus Create this year. Here's why.

PromptWorks' Center City office in 2019. (Photo by Sam Markowitz)

Promptworks no more: As of Tuesday, the Center City-based software development firm has been acquired a Virginia digital transformation consulting firm.

Reston, Virginia-based Modus Create made the announcement today, saying the deal allows it to “deepen its product development capabilities” and establish itself more in Philadelphia. CEO Greg Sterndale told Technical.ly in an email that the Promptworks team will be kept in place.

The Philly company, which is nearly a decade old, has specialties in serving the retail, healthcare and life sciences industries, counting clients such as Philly staples URBN and Honeygrow. Sterndale and other senior execs will join Modus Create as advisors.

In his note to Technical.ly, the CEO added that the leadership team felt Modus was a good fit because of its similar approach to product development, which focuses on “outcomes over product specs.”

“Also, we’re excited to be a part of a global company with mature practices and offerings that [complement] ours like digital ops, platform modernization, and proper strategic consulting,” Sterndale said.

The 2013-founded Promptworks has had an outsized presence in Philly tech over its lifetime. The firm has been known to donate employee time to civic causes — when Technical.ly included him on the 2020 RealLIST Connectors list, we noted that Sterndale led the company to sponsor a number of local tech access nonprofits — and it’s been a mainstay at past Philly Tech Week and tech hiring events. As recently as 2020, Promptworks was named to the Inc. 5000 list for fast-growing private companies. Also in 2020, cofounder Jason Garber published a book, “Practical Pair Programming,” on the programming method the company’s known for.

Sterndale said the acquisition should be a smooth experience for Promptworks clients and its 16 employees (notably, down from a reported 35 in summer 2020). No financial details were disclosed.

The acquisition is the third for Modus Create this year. Its previously acquired consulting firm Atlas Authority and software engineering company Tweag in May and June, respectively.

“The addition of Promptworks further strengthens our reputation for building unique, human-centered applications for leading global brands,” said Sarah McCasland, chief strategy officer of Modus Create, in a statement. “Creating successful products is more important than ever as organizations strive to attract and maintain successful customer relationships.”

Companies: Promptworks
People: Promptworks / Jason Garber / Greg Sterndale
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