Q&A with Taptera co-founder and CEO Chris O’Connor about the market opportunity in enterprise mobile apps

By Editor September 6, 2011

taptera_logoTaptera builds mobile apps for large enterprises. Inspired by an experience building apps for employees at a previous job, the founders established the San Francisco–based company earlier this year.

SUB: Please explain what Taptera is, and the value proposition you bring to the enterprise.

O’Connor: Taptera builds fast, beautiful, secure, on-demand Apple mobile apps for the enterprise. We extend this with a deep customization engine that allows large companies to brand and skin the apps as if they’re developed in-house.

SUB: Who do you consider to be your competitors?

O’Connor: Simply put, we don’t have any competitors. We are attacking the mobile enterprise market by delivering a suite of essential mobile applications that every large company needs. No other company has the unique blend of enterprise expertise married with gorgeous design. It’s just not in their DNA.

SUB: What do you offer that differentiates Taptera from the competition?

O’Connor: What differentiates us is our team. Taptera has a rare combination of consumer brand and big enterprise pedigree. Our mantra at Taptera is that ‘great employees deserve great apps.’ We want to create high quality enterprise apps that delight and amaze employees the same way they are by the apps they have come to cherish in their personal lives.

SUB: What was the inspiration behind Taptera? Was there an “aha” moment, or was it longer in developing?

O’Connor: While at Genentech, my co-founder Dan McCall and I were part of the team that built 30 enterprise apps that helped empower mobility for Genentech employees to increase productivity and enhance collaboration. We wanted to create the same quality and user experience found in consumer apps for the enterprise. People loved our apps and the platform was a phenomenal success. We were constantly approached by other businesses to sell them our apps. We realized that there was a real need in the enterprise market for what we were doing and set out to create it.

SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?

O’Connor: Taptera was founded on April 25, 2011. Our first step was to put together a solid team. First, we tapped Mike Janson as CTO, who played a critical role in developing Salesforce Chatter. Shortly after we were able to bring on John Ellenich as Chief Design Officer who has several apps in the Apple App Store Hall of Fame.

SUB: What sizes/types of enterprises are you targeting?

O’Connor: Taptera targets Fortune 500 companies across a diverse range of industries including telecommunications, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, consumer technology, packaged goods and others.

SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building Taptera?

O’Connor: The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far and we have been inundated with inquiries about when we will ship—but this is a terrific problem to have.

SUB: You recently raised $2 million in Series A funding. How do you plan to use the funds?

O’Connor: We will use the funding to develop a revolutionary portfolio of Apple iPad and iPhone apps that will profoundly advance processes for sales, operations, collaboration and creativity. Taptera’s first app, called Colleagues, is a powerful mobile employee directory that will be unveiled this fall.

SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise new funding?

O’Connor: Apple’s recent launch of the App Store Volume Purchasing for Business is a tremendous market opportunity for enterprise apps.

SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?

O’Connor: Right now we’re focused on our Colleagues product release.

SUB: Where do you hope to see Taptera in a year from now?

O’Connor: We hope Taptera is a recognized catalyst for revolutionizing the enterprise.

Taptera – www.taptera.com