Home Funding & Finance AppVillage: A reminder of our appy future, and its democratisation

AppVillage: A reminder of our appy future, and its democratisation


Are apps too much of a good thing?

Many of our devices suffer from app overload. To get some balance, many of us periodically delete apps. So, why do we need more?

AppVillage, obviously, thinks different. The startup, by digital entrepreneur Steve Fanale, is setting up a large ecosystem that will incubate, loosely speaking, a million apps. Last week, it raised $255,000 in seed funding from angel investors including Matt Griffin and Chris Crammond from Deepend, one Australia’s leading digital agencies.

“Have we had too many apps developed? In 2003, we asked do we need more websites. We see the app ecosystem as something that is only going to get bigger as the uptake of smartphone and tablet devices increase,” Fanale told Anthill in an interview.

Innovation revolution

Fanale, previously the founder of successful digital agencies MassMedia and Traction, believes app development is at its infancy, with only a short five-year history. Besides the appeal of explosive growth of app-hungry devices, Fanale sees a further upside from the fact that a large number of apps today is of “low quality and little value.”

“This is something we’ve set out to change,” asserts Fanale. “We’ve seen an opportunity to sell and distribute apps as a developer and this has sparked an innovation revolution.”

Fanale says investors in his startup share his view that AppVillage is “perfectly positioned to build a global app community” and that “we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how products and services will be delivered in the future.”

So, what exactly is AppVillage?

AppVillage will democratise app development, making a potential app creator of you and me. It will take an idea from anybody, evaluate it and then, if found to possess commercial appeal, create the “process and management required to take these concepts from ideation to reality.” Of course, that includes marketing the app.

“All we need from the innovator is the overview and general detail of an idea. We will then take on the responsibility of researching and assessing that idea and developing it further” for the market, Fanale says.

Crowdsourcing too

AppVillage will hand out royalties for a lot of people in the value chain – from the ideators down to the developers and the rest of the community.

“Developers have the opportunity to work on not one, but many great app ideas in the community and knowing that they will be also sharing in the success of the project by earning a share in the ongoing royalties,” Fanale says. This has been a “very attractive proposition to draw some great app production personnel into the community,” he added.

Besides, AppVillage plans to crowdsource a fair bit of design and development, and keep costs low. “The (business) model is flexible and will allow us to adapt and provide the services we believe are required to make apps successful,” says Fanale.