Sprout, the startup behind an easy-to-use tool for creating Flash applications, has been having a very good year. It launched in January at DEMO (where it snagged a “DEMO god” award), made its app builder publicly available in March, then released a bunch of new features in April. Now it has raised $5 million in a second round of venture funding.
Through Sprout, you can use a “what you see is what you get” interface reminiscent of Photoshop to build applications that the company calls “sprouts”. The apps are basically widgets, but with the interactivity of a Flash website. The process is made especially accessible through Sprout’s templates, which can be customized with just a few clicks.
Sprout added compatibility with a number of other sites and applications in April. Now, you can use your sprout to display your Twitter messages, make phone calls via Ribbit and feed user survey information directly into Google Spreadsheets. Even better, Sprout released a software developer kit that allows other web services to integrate with Sprout’s platform.
The release of Sprout Verision 2.0 is imminent, says chief executive Carnet Williams, and the new funding will be used expand the engineering, business development, marketing and support teams. The round was led by Polaris Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor Global Venture Capital and Lotus founder Mitch Kapor. The San Francisco- and Honolulu-based startup was previously raised $3.3 million.
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