Pocket App is the UK’s largest mobile app developer. The company has experienced several years of rapid growth with clients such as Coca Cola, Samsung, W Hotel, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Adidas, Epson, NHS and Phillips.
The business is now making a major leap into the super-premium space and starting to do work in partnership with Microsoft, IBM, Capita, ATOS, and others, as well as launching its own SaaS products built on the platform it has been developing over recent years.
The company is profitable but this ambitious transition requires more investment than is available from reinvested profits alone.
Until now Pocket App have focused on single paid projects from a variety of clients. This market has been accelerating and the company has grown with the market. However as Enterprise moves into the segment at size, playing catchup furthermore with the Internet of Things just beginning to impact the market, Pocket App needs to achieve a previously unthinkable level of scale.
Pocket App is now building relationships with the world’s leading global consultancies and the expected level of demand ahead suggests the impact seen from mobile over the last 5 years is just the beginning.
Mobile is enabling and disrupting the way the world works – from how consumers buy and do things to the way businesses operate and market themselves.
We feel that Pocket App are at the forefront of this, developing innovative mobile solutions for their clients. We consult, design and develop mobile services designed to make the best from this revolution, which we believe secures Return On Investment for our clients and ensures they continue to invest in mobile via Pocket App.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Since its foundation in 2010, Pocket App has been growing and has put together a world class team of mobile experts and developers. We have opened offices in London, Mumbai and Saudi Arabia, and are looking at openings in USA, Australia and Ireland. We are now nearly 80 people, with strategic and User Experience and User Interface teams headquartered in London and our development team headquartered in Mumbai.
We have built our P3 mobile app platform and launched our first product – Pocket Events. We have developed awarding winning apps for blue chip clients, leading agencies, SME’s and start ups.
Our business model is based upon building mobile services and products for our clients on a fee or licenced basis. We bill either on a fixed price per project or on a time and materials basis depending on clients needs.
Billing rates are below average market rates due to our low cost base, yet product quality and delivery is exceptional because all projects are designed, managed and delivered by our world class team in London. This allows us to offer exceptional value and service driving growth.
The business is moving rapidly from small single project clients to major long term partners and perennial customers. At the same time P3, the proprietary software side of the business, which modulises the most popular functionalities requested, is on the point of lift-off as a commercial platform in its own right, generating an ongoing SaaS income that will grow in the coming years. We are in discussions with a leading events company to be the first licensed client of the first app in this family: Pocket Events.
Use of proceeds
The proceeds are intended be used to build up our team of experts and invest in our technology as well as providing working capital. Specifically:
• High level sales executives with experience of large blue chip clients to help process our pipeline - £150,000 on sales and £100,000 on the technical pre-sales and business analyst team in London.
• Invest in our P3 software platform to develop further mobile products such as Pocket Tasks - £150,000.
• Build a .net/azure technical team - £100,000.
• Working capital - £200,000.
The Company has outstanding debts of £168k. This is made up of £138k in long term debt from institutional lenders and £30k in shareholder loans. The proceeds of investment will not be used to repay these loans.
The mobile application and development market is exploding and is estimated to be £100bn in 2016.
Pocket App works with corporates in this market to mobilise their business. Our services cover a wide spectrum from using mobile for customer acquisition, to empowering staff and improving process automation.
We focus on a number of key sectors – Healthcare, Sports, Enterprise, Consulting and Retail. In each of these areas, we have a huge amount of experience and knowledge to bring to our customers. In each of these sectors, mobile has huge potential to revolutionise the way they operate. The mHealth sector is estimated to be worth £9.5bn in 2015 rising to nearly £40bn by 2020. The mobile Enterprise sector is worth even more, with almost every corporate globally looking to see how they harness the power of mobile in how they do business.
In addition to working directly with clients, we also support consulting businesses and agencies in their work. They are finding that all of their clients would like a mobile to be included in their proposals and we add the mobile expertise to their offering.
Characteristics of target market
Mobile is revolutionising the way businesses and consumers operate, traditional markets such as the taxi and travel industry are being disrupted by Uber and Air BnB. Other sectors are being complemented by the use of mobile, the use of apps at events from sports stadiums to marketing conferences for instance.
Bring Your Own Device has created challenges and opportunities for companies to empower their employees. Virtual sales brochures allow for sales staff to carry their entire product catalogue with them. iBeacons allows for customer and employee tracking around a store or a warehouse, or around a conference as we did for Argos at their Head Office. Adoption rates are high with as much as 70% of the population in China using mobile banking compared to 38% in the UK, coincidentally the European average.
In all of these sectors, Pocket App is currently applying its expertise and skills to consult, design and develop mobile services and applications for the businesses that need it.
Pocket App is a leader within the mobile app market and is well known in the industry. We are constantly asked to comment on developments within the sector – from BBC news to appearing as the mobile expert on entertainment shows. The 2 founders, Paul and Andy are, in our opinion, well known in the industry and are a first port of call for many companies wanting to mobilise services.
As a result most sales leads come from inbound enquiries. It feels like every company in the world is looking to use mobile in their business and a large proportion of the ones in the UK seem to find their way to our door. We deal with a large number of enquiries every month and our small sales and marketing team do a great job in prioritizing which ones to follow up and respond to.
Our current strategic focus is to look to sign deals with the large consulting companies such as PWC and Ernst & Young. This is already showing great results and we are being on-boarded as a preferred supplier to IBM, Microsoft and Atos.
We feel that our current sales pipeline is incredibly strong we believe the pipeline will only increase further within the next few months as these strategic deals start to come online. The business therefore needs rapidly to build out the team to deal with the increase in business.
One of Pocket App’s key strengths is that we only focus on mobile. The 2 founders have been in mobile from the beginning, starting with text services for mobile operators. As a result we have a unique knowledge and understanding of the market and the opportunities and limitations of the highly personal small device that we all now all carry round.
Many of our competitors have come from an agency background (like Mubaloo) or from a media background (like Chelsea App Factory) or from a marketing background (like Somo).
Our cost base is also significantly lower than our competitors. Most of development is done by our skilled developers in our office in India. At the same time, all of our User Experience and User Interface design is done in London, as is our technical architecture and business analysis. This means we can produce world quality solutions at a very cost effective price.