Our Runway East and WeWork neighbour, startup Marvel, has raised $2 million funding from Index Ventures, Connect Ventures, ustwo and more. We caught up with co-founder, Murat Mutlu, to find out how they started and where the funding will take them.
Marvel is a super-simple prototyping platform that transforms static designs and sketches into interactive, sharable prototypes that look and feel like real apps and websites. There’s no clunky software involved and no need for users to know how to code.
This week we’ve launched a feature that takes prototyping to the next level by allowing you to record what users do with your prototypes, including taps, gestures, as well as audio and video feedback. It’s a great way to validate your ideas quickly.
Marvel started as a side-project in the summer of 2013, built over evening and weekends by Brendan, Jonathan and I (my co-founders). It was a way to solve a problem I was having whilst working in agencies – where my high-resolution design work was consistently presented in low quality Powerpoint decks.
In an ideal world I would have handed my designs over to one of the developers in the agency and they would have coded it up so that we could’ve presented a HTML/CSS prototype that the client could have played with. The reality is that in most agencies all the developers are stacked on existing projects and don’t have time to build anything else. Placing developers on each pitch can also lead to to costs spiralling out of control.
I wanted a way to empower myself to create prototypes from PNGS or JPEGS without having to bother anyone, and that’s how Marvel was born.
We had a great response when we launched it and decided to take £60k angel investment to go full-time. Since then we’ve grown to 160k users, 8 team members and this month closed a $2m round of funding. At one point we were in an office without any windows, so we’ve come a long way!
The plan for Marvel is to become the de-facto standard for bringing your digital ideas to life. Prototyping is such a fundamental part of the design and development process now: each day we’re expanding into different age groups and use cases by making it easier to use.
We believe that the same platform that allows a 5 year old to create a prototype can also serve Fortune 500 companies (as we currently do).
The purpose of the funding is to double our size to 16 and give us the fire power we need to take this all the way. We’re focused on building out the design and development team plus hiring in new areas such as customer success and content.