Ionic: Democratizing Mobile Development

It was 9 years after the introduction of Netscape Navigator that Wordpress first came along to level the playing field for web development. Today, Wordpress powers about 25% of the modern web.

Now, a similar opportunity is unfolding to democratize development for the mobile era.

That’s why I am pleased to announce that General Catalyst has led a Series A investment in Ionic, joining earlier seed investors Arthur Ventures, Founder Collective, and Lightbank.

Ionic’s mission is to open up mobile development to all web developers, enabling them to use the languages and frameworks they’re already familiar with, like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and AngularJS.

Using the open source Ionic Framework and the complementary services provided by the Ionic Platform, web developers can build native-quality apps on a single code base that spans iOS, Android, and Windows. Importantly, Ionic also enables the emerging category of progressive web apps.

With this simple strategy, Ionic’s founders have built a rapidly growing community of over 4 million developers that spans the globe. With over 2 million apps created to date, Ionic is a top 50 project on Github with over 23 thousand stars. Meanwhile, beyond the open source community, Ionic has been adopted by enterprise users like Morgan Stanley and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Ionic was co-founded by Max Lynch and Ben Sperry, a technologist and a designer with backgrounds in game development. That unique DNA shows in the care and craft that has gone into not just the company’s software but all other aspects of the developer experience surrounding it — from documentation to community communications to visual design. As the Ionic web page attests: “Ionic is built by nerds (like you) to make mobile development with HTML5 awesome and simple.”

While native apps dominated the early mobile app landscape, we think that by expanding the universe of mobile developers to include many millions of existing web developers, Ionic can power the next billion apps that are yet to come — in app stores and enterprises worldwide.

Ionic is already the world’s most popular cross-platform mobile development technology stack, used by fast growing startups as well as some of the biggest companies in the world. We’re proud to partner with the team at Ionic to help them take their vision of democratized mobile development to the next level.

This post also appears on the General Catalyst Medium channel.

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