Saturday, April 20, 2024

Dropsource writes the code for business apps

By Luke Bollinger

Paul Berg, left, and Nate Frechette, center, launched Queue Software in 2014 after graduating from college. Ben Saren, right, became CEO last year. Photos courtesy of Dropsource.

It might be nice if everyone knew how to write code, but that isn’t going to happen. Paul Berg knows that, so he teamed with Nate Frechette in 2014 to start a company that allows users to create applications for mobile devices without ever writing a line of code. Raleigh-based Queue Software has raised nearly $11 million, including $4.75 million from 25 individual investors in September. The company, which had 16 employees in early November, is adding four more to help develop the platform.

The goal of Dropsource, the brand name for the company, is to create a product for people who are not necessarily proficient in mobile development. Berg, who majored in information management and technology at Syracuse University, includes himself in that group. Most app design platforms either require some knowledge of writing code or are too simplistic to create highly functional apps, he says.

Berg and Frechette started the business after graduating from college. Dropsource initially targeted college students needing to create original apps for class projects or startups. The focus has since switched to selling to businesses that want to expand their mobile offerings with more complex apps.

Ben Saren, who had worked at Boston-based payments software provider Cayan as senior vice president of marketing, became CEO last year. Berg and Frechette are chief product officer and chief technology officer, respectively. Their initial investor, Bill Wilson, was connected to Berg through a Syracuse professor and is now executive chairman of the board. Wilson, a former insurance technology executive who lives in Key Largo, Fla., has helped attract other investors, Berg says.

Though Dropsource offers a free version, its main revenue comes from subscriptions to its premium model. Clients include Fortune 500 companies working in retail, medical-supply, health care and other industries. They use Dropsource to create customer-oriented apps and what Saren calls “workforce enablement” apps that give employees mobile access to tools needed to make sales.

He compares Dropsource to web-development platforms such as WordPress and Drupal that allow people with little tech aptitude to create websites. “To build native and data-driven mobile apps still requires a whole different set of skills,” Saren says. “We’re trying to lower that barrier” for customers who need more than basic mobile apps.

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