Featured Startup Pitch: AppInstitute wants to make building a mobile app a breeze for even the smallest businesses
AppInstitute makes getting an app for your business a simple and cost effective process. We offer a solution stack to enable our SMB customers to create and manage affordable smartphone apps (iOS and Android), with no tech skills or coding experience necessary.
We consider ourselves the ‘WordPress for Mobile Apps,’ as our SaaS platform allows SMBs to quickly create iOS and Android apps with no tech skills or coding experience necessary. With our simple template and drag-n-drop CMS, business owners can create apps for customer loyalty, m-commerce, information capture, showcasing products and services, or simply being a mobile digital hub.
After singing up for free on the AppInstitute website, users can create and personalize their app in three easy steps. Additionally, for businesses wanting to take the process to the next level, options are available to sign up for affordable app development plans to collaboratively create a professional app with the direct help of the AppInstitute’s experts.
Clients can sign up for the ‘Self Build,’ ‘Premium Build’ service, or ‘Custom Project’ plan, all of which can produce apps that support Facebook and Twitter integration, geolocation map listings, custom form builders, image galleries, and video directories among numerous other features.
Once upon a time, in the city of thieves (Nottingham), a founder was born who wanted to readdress the balance between the haves and have-nots (big business versus small business owners). Using the power of software, I have leveraged these goals over several startups, culminating in the formation of AppInstitute.
Our core strategy is growth via channel partners. We’re looking to partner with existing digital service businesses, providing our platform under a white label, and allowing them to utilize this as a toolset to create apps for their customers in the most effective and cost-effective manner.
Our platform has no specific geographical barriers, and already we have partners and end-client businesses in over ten countries over four continents; however our initial focus is on the UK market, as this is our base.
From a top-down approach within the UK, there are over five million SMEs, which presents our UK market potential. From a bottom-up approach we have validated five strong verticals (Food, Hair and Beauty, Entertainment, Transport, and Medical), which represent almost one million UK businesses.
A lot of small- and medium-sized businesses do not tap in to the true potential that is offered to them via the smartphone market. Over 60 percent of online purchases in the UK being made on a mobile device, making it over a $10 billion industry, the demand for obtainable and affordable mobile app solutions is sure to continue rising.
With our powerful, user-friendly design tool, regardless of your business size, you can create the exact app that you need to effectively engage and expand your company’s customer base.
HOW WE’RE UNIQUE
As a SaaS provider, we have a few U.S.-centric competitors, such as Como and Bizness Apps, who have a strong geographical footing in their own territories, but less so in the UK. We have yet to find a comparable UK competitor.
Local competition tends to be more from traditional software development houses and independent developers. Our key differential from these players is cost of ownership, and value for money of the solution provided.
We operate on a freemium model, which allows users to access and build their apps for free, as well as submit them to Google Play for free. There is a small one-off cost of £30 for submission to the Apple App Store, and an optional monthly subscription fee of £25 to use push notifications, as well as our app CRM tools.
We also just received a $750,000 investment by the Foresight Nottingham Fund, which provides the company with development capital to drive further growth and job creation in the years ahead.
We are in our growth acceleration phase, generating revenue and are close to reaching our tipping point. We have secured funding to get to profitability, so our focus is on executing the strategy that we have developed to get us there. Our current needs are around hiring quality employees to the existing team, and on-boarding channel partners and customers.
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HEADQUARTERS: Nottingham, UK
FOUNDER: Ian Naylor
INVESTORS: Foresight Nottingham Fund, private Angel investor
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011