Pyxis Mobile Expands its Footprint - Relaunches as Verivo Software
By Tony Rizzo, Editor in Chief
Pyxis Mobile, a true veteran player of the mobile application development space, is relaunching the company under the new name Verivo Software, a move designed to quickly establish Verivo as a major mobile enterprise applications player. Originally focused on building secure mobile applications for the financial services industry, and a pioneer BlackBerry app developer, the company has come a long way over the last decade, and is now entirely focused on delivering a major mobile enterprise development platform (MEAP).
Along with the change from financial services app vendor to large scale mobile platform vendor came a variety of challenges - from dealing with brand values established early in the company's history, to ensuring that the company has both the business and technical resources to continue innovating and to expand its business footprint.
The Pyxis management team has been working for many months to get the company to this new juncture - they have taken a relatively slow path to building out the game plan, and the time has arrived to put the plan in place. The new planning began about 16 months ago when board member Steven Levy took the helm as the company's CEO. To deliver on the plan required the addition of new funding - Pyxis has not, over the years, brought in a lot of investment dollars, but the management team knew it would have to step up investments significantly in order to deliver on it.
To do so it has landed $17M in new funding. The latest round is led by Commonwealth Capital Ventures, with participation from Pyxis Mobile’s existing investors, including Ascent Venture Partners and Egan-Managed Capital.
Verivo will use the funds to broaden its business reach and to quickly rachet up the pace at which it is able to deliver new features and important extensions to its core platform. Look for Verivo to open new offices in Europe and Asia, to explore ways it can partner with other vendors as well as to look for M&A opportunities that will allow the company to quickly bring in tuck-in technology and related new development resources. The company will also look to broaden its base of software experts through enhanced recruiting made possible by the new funds.
The new software teams will be tasked with delivery of technology to build robust apps quickly and to expand its platform and application program interface (API) for third-party developers. The group will be further tasked with quickly adding new capabilities, such as full HTML5 support, as well as solidifying its overall mobile app philosophy of "easily build, deploy and manage" all mobile apps.
The business-side teams, which have already been growing over the last 4 months, will work to enhance business development capabilities and broaden sales across a much greater geographic region and across a much larger vertical base - from life sciences and manufacturing to automotive and transportation. In 2011, the company reported an increase in license bookings of 220 percent and revenue run rate of 50 percent. Its employee-base grew 50 percent and the company says that its customer base increased by 170 percent. Companies that have recently become Verivo customers include International SOS, CSX Corporation, Constellation Energy Group and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
CSX, a leading transportation supplier, was looking for a mobile solution that would allow the company to create an app once, integrate it with various back-end data sources and run it on multiple platforms. CSX chose Verivo’s software platform to drive the company’s mobility strategy. The team has already designed six apps for internal and external clients and several more apps are in the works for 2012.
"Using Verivo’s mobility platform, we are able to develop the mobile apps quickly, deploy them across multiple devices simultaneously and centrally update applications on all major mobile devices," said Jon Yuan, solutions architect, CSX Corporation. "In addition, the software frees us from device specific development tools, so our team is able to focus on business processes and drive value to our end users."
AT&T, one of Verivo’s technology partners, can now offer added value to their customers. "Working closely with Verivo has allowed us to help businesses accelerate mobile application development and lay the foundation for empowering a mobile workforce with business apps," said Chris Hill, vice president, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. "Verivo’s expanded mobility platform and pricing model will enable delivering of mobile application platforms to even more businesses and organizations."
All of this is easier said than done, of course. We've known the Pyxis team for many years, and have watched the company navigate through both growth spurts and decidedly tougher times. In each case the company has pulled through to take itself to the next level. Not every company is willing to take the bold step of rebranding itself - Verivo clearly needed to do so We're confident that it will pull the move off.