Canvas Raises Millions for Paper-Killing Business Apps

by Pedro Hernandez

Startup Canvas rakes in funds to help businesses ditch paper forms and keep up with demand for on-the-go apps.

Canvas is helping businesses crumple up and toss away their paper-based workflows, enabling a growing number of workers to trade in their clipboards for tablets and smartphones.

The Reston, Va.-based firm specializes in customizable business apps that capture and share data, effectively replacing paper forms. A counter on the company's website shows that its platform has saved over 6.9 million sheets of paper.

Canvas applications work on practically every tablet and smartphone on the market, according to the company. The company's own marketplace has apps for a range of verticals, business processes and roles. Examples include medical history forms, work orders and waivers, to name a few.

Canvas also offers an app builder toolkit that allows non-developers to build mobile apps in minutes. Customers include Pepsi Bottling Ventures and the Olympic Development Authority.

Canvas' spin on mobile productivity has attracted the attention of investors. The company announced today that it has raised $4 million in a Series C round of financing. Osage Venture Partners led the deal, which was backed by existing investors, including Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. The funding will be used to expand the Canvas platform, grow its subscriber base and build out MyCanvas, the company's personal cloud service.

In company remarks, Canvas CEO James Quigley argued that the mobile app market is in its early stages. Citing a glowing industry forecast, he stated, "Revenues accumulated by the global mobile application market are expected to grow from $25 billion by the end of 2013 to $98 billion in 2018, according to ABI Research."

Naturally, Quigley's company is poised to benefit from those gains. "Despite the outsized number, there is reason to believe we have only scratched the surface for adoption of mobile apps, and with this new funding support, Canvas remains uniquely positioned to capitalize on this growing and untapped market opportunity," he said.

According to Nate Lentz, managing partner for Osage Venture Partners, Canvas' appeal spans across entire industries. "It is exciting to see a company positioned to disrupt old school data collection methods by presenting a dead simple user experience that appeals to a broad cross section of businesses from doctors' offices and electricians to oil field services and service repair companies," he said in a statement.

Canvas costs $20 per user per month, to start. A pay-as-you-go and a discounted annual plan are also offered.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

  This article was originally published on Monday Jun 3rd 2013
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