Swedish Startup Space

Appear – Mobile Platform For Developers On How To Monetize an SDK

Written by on July 30

I decided to have a chat with the Stockholm company based in Kista, Appear Networks that is building a tool called Appear IQ. Vincent Dollet, their CTO describes the product as a tool that enables the creation of professional looking, enterprise-grade mobile apps that are easily integrated with existing B2B/B2E software and distributed to end users without time consuming and costly app-store approval processes.

Vincent continues:  “Since inception, Appear has been about enterprise mobility – and how to improve the workplace. We were one of the first movers in the context space and started revolutionizing industries like transportation and construction, in order to bridge the information gap between employees and passengers, as well as make these places more transparent and safer.”

“We took the decision to develop a new platform specifically intended for ISVs (independent software vendors) over 2 years ago. Although mobile apps are apparently ubiquitous these days, we were surprised to realize how many vendors (i.e. ERP, health & safety, warehouse management, etc.) were (and still are!) lacking a decent mobile strategy. We were shocked to see so many sub-optimal apps, to hear so many failed implementations, to witness “mobile-first” vendors disrupting the industries, etc.”

The team spent a lot of time identifying the priorities and came up with a list of requirements that ended up being the first release of their platform, Appear IQ. Vincent says they worked with a selected number of partners: “In collaboration with select partners, we then spent a lot of time designing a first release of the Appear IQ platform that would address their core requirements. That’s how Appear IQ 8.0 went live in 2013.

Since then, we have kept on developing Appear IQ, with a philosophy to focus on developers’ productivity, dependability, innovation and openness. We are transparent with what we do, and what it is for. We open-source components that make sense, we make sure developers can use their existing skills, and that they have a “data and app liberation” path. In short, we limit vendor lock-in as we are confident that our features speak for themselves.

The team consists of entreprenuers from Harvard Business School and KTH. It was founded in 2001 and is located in Stockholm. The reason being in Stockholm is because of the talent pool and innovation culture: “The company was established in Stockholm due to the talent pool and the local innovation culture. Appear is led by Martin Wilson (CEO, British citizen) and Vincent Dollet (CTO, French citizen). The company is an energizing mix of talented developers coming from very different backgrounds – approx 50% of the team members is international!”

“The company is an energizing mix of talented developers coming from very different backgrounds – approx 50% of the team members is international!”

Monetization and investing

As the team is providing an SDK for developers, Vincent consider themselves as true enablers for software vendors: “We recognise the importance of sharing the business risk the ISV faces when developing their mobile proposition. Development is free. It includes our dev cloud servers, SDKs, support etc. Our revenue stream starts when our partners make money – when the apps are in production. As we primarily target ISVs, we sell our product as white-label at an OEM price”

“Our revenue stream starts when our partners make money – when the apps are in production”

The company is currently looking for investors and Vincent tells us that the IDC forecasts a 40% annual growth by 2017 in this segment: “We are therefore looking for new active investors to help us seize additional market share.”

“We are therefore looking for new active investors to help us seize additional market share.”

 

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