Hot in the heels of its acquisition of POP, design and prototyping platform Marvel is disclosing that it has raised £4 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is BGF Ventures, with participation from previous backers including Index Ventures, Connect Ventures, Inreach Ventures, Andy McLoughlin and Richard Fearn.
Starting out life as a simple app for prototyping (or, really, wire-framing) web and mobile app ideas, Marvel has since grown into an all-in-one design platform that aims to make design and prototyping possible for everyone. It’s used by individual designers and teams to help companies put design at the heart of the organisation.
To do this, Marvel increasingly supports the entire web and app design workflow, from wire framing to user testing, and with a host of collaboration features.
What’s also interesting about the way the company and its product has grown is how this appears to have been partially achieved through a clever strategy of acquisitions. The web and app design ecosystem is full of features, if not products, many of which will never make it into scalable companies.
What Marvel has begun to do is buy up some of those features and products — prior to acquiring POP’s assets, it purchased design tool Plexi — and rolled them into its own product in order to stay ahead of the market. Today’s Series A is about building out Marvel as a company.
I’m told the startup’s platform now has over 1 million registered users, with around 35,000 new users signing up each month. Its largest markets are the U.S. and U.K., while it’s currently investing in sales, which, until recently, have largely been organic, and customer support. The new capital will also enable Marvel to expand into new markets, and develop new products.
Rory Stirling, partner at BGF Ventures, says in a statement: “We’ve watched Murat, Brendan and Jonathan build this business over the last few years and are extremely proud to be joining them on the Marvel journey. We love their obsession with product and their affinity for users. Amazing things happen when technology is used to simplify creative processes and we believe Marvel has the ability to transform the way individuals and teams create great products on a global basis. This is exactly the type of ambition we like to back at BGF Ventures and we look forward to helping the team scale up a business that already has an impressive and loyal user base.”