March 13, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Drifty Scores $1 Million in Seed Funding

Drifty announced $1 million in seed funding from Arthur Ventures, which will help the company expand on its current solutions and add developers to its team. Drifty was an incubator participant in TechStars Cloud 2013, a mentor-driven accelerator program for early stage startups.

The Madison, Wisconsin–based company is the creator of Ionic, a HTML5 native app development framework designed for building native-feeling mobile apps with web technologies such as HTML, CSS (NewsAlert), and Javascript. The seed money will help Drifty continue to develop the Ionic framework.

The company—founded by friends Ben Sperry and Max Lynch, Drifty CEO and CTO, respectively—plans to double its current workforce of nine primarily by hiring developers. The expansion will help the company invest in Ionic as well as other mobile services. The ultimate goal is to make Ionic a viable alternative to native app development, according to the company.

While Ionic is current free, plans to generate revenue are in the mix. These may include analytics, notifications, and a testing service. The company competes with other well-known mobile user interface frameworks, including jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, and others. However, Drifty’s Ionic framework has found a niche, and the company said more than 200 apps are being created with Ionic every day and traffic is nearly doubling month-over-month.

“[Ionic] is completely, 100 percent open-sourced. It’s MIT (NewsAlert)-licensed, which means anyone can use it, commercial or personal—it doesn’t matter to us,” Sperry said.

Drifty also offers two other products: Jetstrap, interface building tool for Twitter (NewsAlert) Bootstrap, and Codiqa, a rapid HTML5 mobile prototyping in the cloud.

“Codiqa started out as a simple solution to a problem that both Max and I experienced in our day-to-day lives: it’s a pain to get a working mobile website or app in HTML5 up and running quickly,” Sperry wrote in a company blog. “We built Codiqa as a way to solve our pain (and, as it turned out many other people’s).”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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