Madison startup Ionic has raised $8.5 million to continue to make it easier for web developers to make mobile products.
The money, said co-founder and CEO Max Lynch, will go to hire a few engineers and build out a new product for other companies. Lynch and his co-founder, Ben Sperry, have grown the company to 20 employees since the two UW-Madison grads launched it in 2013.
And Ionic now has 4 million developers around the world using it. Users are people who know how to develop a website for desktops but aren’t as well-versed on mobile. Ionic lets those developers work in coding languages they’re already familiar with, rather than learn new ones.
“We felt there was an opportunity to really shake things up and build the best mobile-focused web development tool kit,” Lynch said.
Ionic will now build an enterprise product that some current customers, such as Caterpillar or Home Depot, might use. Right now, those customers don’t get many additional functionalities, Lynch said, but they would now get more features on data security and encryption.
The round was led by Massachusetts-based General Catalyst, whose portfolio includes Stripe and Airbnb. Investors from the coasts, Lynch said, are increasingly finding “hidden gems” in the Midwest.
“You’re going to see a lot more companies out of cities like Madison do really well if you can tell the story,” he said.
— By Polo Rocha,