Hatch is the game changer that’s letting users build a native iOS, Android, and web app within days. What used to be a month’s worth of labor has now been condensed into hours thanks to co-founders Param Jaggi and Amelia Friedman.
Hatch is an automated software platform that allows organizations to create their own apps at a fraction of what software developers charge. The company has recently raised $1.3 million in angel funding.
Hatch currently charges $1,000 a month for organizations to use the platform. Specific customizations and add-ons cost between $2,000 to $5,000.
Jaggi, a Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ alum, said the idea for Hatch came shortly after he dropped out of Vanderbilt at the age of 19. Hatch wasn’t Jaggi’s first profitable idea. Jaggi invented the EcoTube, a device that uses algae photosynthesis to reduce carbon emissions from cars, for a science project at the age of 16. Jaggi later had the tool patented and moved to Washington, D.C. to commercialize it.
“I’ll never forget the day I dropped out. I was really confident,” Jaggi said. “The moment I signed the paper and handed it over to my dean, a wave of anxiety hit. It was sink or swim.”
After leaving Vanderbilt, Param began freelancing and building apps to make money.
“I was building custom web apps and mobile apps for clients. I was charging them between $10,000 and $30,000,” Jaggi said. “I found that I was copying and pasting code in the background of many apps. I was charging a lot for projects that were taking me a weekend to build.”
Jaggi said it all came down to what the client was willing to pay — and that was the problem.
“What’s fundamentally wrong with the software development industry, especially custom development systems, is that they price out products based on your price elasticity,” Jaggi said. He wants to bring price stability to the app building industry with Hatch.
Hatch became more than an idea in 2015 when Jaggi and Friedman founded the company after meeting at the Halcyon Incubator. Before meeting Jaggi, Friedman was working on her own nonprofit startup, Student Language Exchange.
“We were working on separate ventures and when we met, we started working on Hatch together,” Jaggi said. “It took us longer than expected to build the first version of the product.”
Jaggi’s software skills and Friedman’s operational background meshed perfectly for Hatch. The two-person team began networking and crafting plans for their startup. Then, the money started running out.
Jaggi and Friedman needed quick cash and developed the 2016 Election game in three days. The game is similar to ‘Cards Against Humanity,’ but focuses on hot topics and phrases used during the 2016 election cycle.
The game raised more than $100,000 for Hatch within a few weeks and helped fuel the startup’s beginning initiatives.
“We were inspired by the founders of Airbnb. They launched 2008-themed cereals called Captain McCain’s and Obama-Os,” said Jaggi. “They launched it online and made about $40,000 in sales and that’s how they funded Airbnb for their first year.”
Since the creation of the 2016 Election Game, Jaggi and Friedman have been able to grow the Hatch team to more than 20 people.
After the platform launched, Hatch was put to the ultimate test. Its first customer needed an app built within five days — so, they built it in three.
“If you go to any custom development shop, that’s impossible — the minimum time it will take to build the apps will be one month and that’s if they work full time,” Jaggi said. “We were able to use our platform to build the app in three days. That was the moment we realized how powerful this thing is.”
Hatch plans to use its $1.3 million to hire more team members and scale the company’s engineering and infrastructure teams.