For startups targeting businesses, rather than consumers, improving the mobile experience has become a priority.
Launching today, Tylr Mobile is a San Francisco-based startup that is solely focused on improving how we work on a smartphone or tablet. The company just demoed its initial product this afternoon at the DEMO Mobile conference.
The first iPhone app WorkinBox is a mobile inbox for salespeople, and neatly integrates with email and Salesforce customer relationship management system. In future, the company will also plug in your calendar (personal and professional) and marketing automation tools, but CEO Ryan Nichols views email as an “untapped starting point.”
Nichols started the company when he noticed that professionals were increasingly bringing their personal devices to work, and opting to perform basic tasks on a smartphone. For this reason, at a recent panel hosted by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, featuring CEOs of enterprise startups like Stripe, Mixpanel and Box, “mobile” was repeatedly cited as the biggest trend. As Box CEO Aaron Levie observed, “It’s easy to roll your eyes when we say mobile — but it’s going to drastically change the marketplace.”
In a demo, Nichols stresses that design and usability is key. He selects an email template to send to a fictitious sales contact promising to address a support ticket within 24 hours. A reminder is automatically filed to the CRM system as an open activity. The email is prioritized in the salesperson’s inbox, and isn’t jumbled up with personal emails or a chain about Friday’s all-hands meeting.
“The key is to deliver information in context [and] the experience is designed to make you more productive,” said Nichols.
Tylr Mobile’s founding team aren’t fresh-faced college grads; they have years of relevant experience under their belts. During his time at legacy vendor, SAP, Nichols keenly observed that the “the way we work on the go is broken.” The company was formed in 2012, and later enrolled in an enterprise-focused accelerator program called Alchemist.
The company plans to make its money by initially offering a free trial, and then up-selling large customers. It is currently testing its product on a handful of beta customers, including marketing automation giant Marketo.
As we exclusively reported in December, the company has raised $500,000 in funding from Citrix Accelerator, Alchemist Accelerator, and individuals from SAP, Oracle and Salesforce.com. Nichols is planning to raise an additional $750,000, and has kept the seed round open.