Hassle-free “build your own app” startup AppMachine has announced a $15.2 million funding round, with web-hosting and domain registration behemoth Endurance International Group procuring 40 percent of the company’s shares.
The Netherlands-based startup was founded in 2011, and today claims north of 150,000 users in 140 countries. As with many similar self-publishing platforms aimed at non-coders, AppMachine lets users build fairly feature-rich apps for Android, Windows Phone, and iOS, using “building blocks” that cover things like Facebook integration, or discographies for DJs. It also sports a “crawler” tool that can scan a company’s existing website to extract key information such as images and contact information, and reconfigure it for the new app.
Though there are a myriad of similar tools out there, AppMachine has always set itself apart by promising fully native apps, not simple “wrappers” built primarily on HTML. However, AppMachine is moving beyond native mobile apps, and for the past year has been working on tools to help companies build lightning-fast, platform-agnostic web apps that work straight out of the browser.
Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance was founded in 1997 and today claims 3.8 million users across its myriad of subsidiaries, which include the likes of Domain.com, ResellerClub, HostGator, and Bluehost. Endurance listed on the NASDAQ in October 2013.
“Too often, we have seen that the best technology was beaten by the best marketing,” says AppMachine CEO Siebrand Dijkstra. “Now the best technology joins forces with the best marketing. We are especially pleased with this partnership because Endurance believes, as we do, that there is a large and growing opportunity in mobile solutions for SMBs.”
This semi-acquisition by Endurance makes perfect sense — AppMachine provides the tools for small companies to build apps and mobile websites, and Endurance makes this available to its millions of users that are looking to move beyond the desktop.
Dijkstra adds that the cash influx will be used to spur its global growth. And, if things go well, the terms of the agreement allow for “additional ownership over time.” Reading between the lines, this may well lead to a full-on acquisition.