Whether you’re developing a mobile app on your own or inside a large corporation on a budget, you may need a little help. And now with another $2.7 million in the bank, MoTwin wants to be that assist.
MoTwin is essentially the even more unsexy part of the already unsexy business of making enterprise mobile apps.
MoTwin allows companies to build bespoke apps quickly and easily, handling all the behind-the-scenes complexity like connecting to your back-end servers, data sources, and so forth. More importantly, platforms like moTwin let you create all of the functionality once, and deploy it to all of the major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone), and as HTML5 apps at the same time. They do all of the underlying work to translate app functionality for your corporate employees or customers.
If it’s vital for your field sales rep to have up-to-the-minute inventory information at their fingertips, even with spotty mobile network connections, the moTwin platform includes the technical components to address that.
Mobile enterprise apps are the flavor of the year, and companies like moTwin help enable them.
MoTwin was founded in 2008, and the new cash is its Series B round. Previous investment partners Seventure Partners and Naxicap Partners participated, along with newcomer Sigma Gestion. All of the firms are from Europe; moTwin is headquartered in France. Reasonably lean moTwin has raised a total of $7.3 million over five years.
MoTwin is the brainchild of Stephane Perret. He released the platform after he finished his PhD in distributed computing in 2007. He designed the system to allow the distribution of information across multiple servers, all connected over GSM. In other words, the platform was designed to allow for unreliable network connectivity. MoTwin executives think this will be a huge selling point for the enterprise, as corporations increasingly equip their personnel with mobile technology and expect an increase in productivity as a result, or as they create customer-facing apps. The company claims to have patented technology to handle network resilience issues.
This mobile platform-as-a-service space isn’t entirely new. MoTwin has some steep competition, including Sybase Unwired (part of SAP), Adobe (PhoneGap), Appcelerator, Antenna Software and Verivo, among others. Antenna, for example, boasts some fairly large corporate customers, and has been around since 1998.
Salesforce, Oracle, Workday and SAP, just to name a few enterprise application providers, have built mobile apps for some of their software, but too often these were enterprise applications built without mobile in mind. Companies can hire mobile programmers, or consulting houses to build custom mobile applications themselves, but that is consuming and expensive, not just to built, but to support and maintain for every target platform.
“Too often enterprises underestimate the complexity of mobile projects,” explains moTwin’s co-founder and CEO Claude Lemardeley. “Over the past three years we saw large projects failing or delivering mobile solutions that didn’t meet their user’s expectations. These companies are now rethinking their mobile strategy.”
Instead of building one-off solutions, app-by-app, these platforms allow for a more streamlined orchestration of all of a company’s corporate apps across multiple devices. It also includes pre-built connectors for integrating with existing back-end applications and data sources.
MoTwin believes it can stand out against its competitors because of its real-time content delivery. It also offers push notifications when the app is updated with new information. Finally, it includes the ability to build in context-aware functionality, like using geo-location or customer profiles.
MoTwin has an office in Silicon Valley, and is continuing to expand globally using its new round of funding, with Asia as its first target.