Artisan (formerly appRenaissance) launches mobile development platform, Artisan Optimize

Tom Paine

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Artisan, The Old City Philadelphia mobile platform developer formerly known as appRenaissance, today announced from eTail West the general availability of its first off-the-shelf product, Artisan Optimize, which it calls the industry's first Mobile Experience Management (MEM) platform. Artisan Optimize is designed to put the ability to design, test and modify mobile apps directly in the hands of end users, rather than relying on developers, and greatly speed the app development process.

Artisan Optimize is the end result of a private beta process that began in September and public beta started in December. Beta testers included more than 100 customers, of which more than 12 were Fortune 500 members. This release targets iPads and iPhones up to iOS 6; Android support is forthcoming, Artisan says. Also, the Artisan app is now available in the iPhone app store. Artisan Optimize is the first of a series of products on the Artisan MEM platform; others are scheduled for release this year.

A key design element to Artisan's approach is its patent-pending technology which renders the user interface of a native mobile application dynamically from the cloud. The Cloud-based user interface approach grew in part out of Artisan's acquisition of UXFlip last year and bringing its founder Michael Raber on board, Artisan CEO Bob Moul told me in a phone interview.

At least on the surface, there are some similarities to Conshohocken-based Monetate in Artisan's positioning. Marketers and retailers are high on Artisan's list of target markets, and there is an emphasis on giving end-users the ability to rapidly design and modify A/B tests on the fly without programmer involvement.

Artisan has raised $3 million so far led by FirstMark Capital, a New York-based VC firm that knows Moul well since it also backed Boomi, which Moul guided to its successful exit to Dell; Moul and other local private investors have also participated. They've been ramping up; Moul tells me headcount is around 20 and there are nine openings currently listed on Artisan's website, all based in Philadelphia. Artisan's go to market approach will include both outside and inside sales (VP, Sales is among the open positions) and the channel. Price points are $1,000, $4,000 and $10,000 per month. Moul says a Series A round may happen down the road.


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