Apps Maker ICubemedia’s Sales Soar
After a few years of producing dozens of smartphone apps, Moncton-based iCubemedia is focusing in on a single suite of small business products that its founder hopes will lift the company to a new level.
For the last five years, the brainchild of founder Guyverson Vernous has been putting out a range of apps for Apple phones and devices, most of which offer efficiency tools to small businesses. Though the company is relatively unknown in the region, its sales have soared, more than doubling last year so its revenue is well into six figures. Its customer base spans 20 countries around the world.
“We have 53 products but 90 per cent of our revenue comes from five products,” said Vernous in an interview last week. “In fact, I’m focusing now on three main products right now.”
The main money-spinners for this three-person venture are Office Reader, a file management product for mobile devices; Invoice Manager, which allows small business operators to invoice customers from anywhere; and Receipt Scanner, which lets business people scan and file receipts.
“We are now two months into 2014 and we have an increase of 20 per cent (in revenue) because we enhanced Office Reader with a PDF feature and that’s competing quite well,” said Vernous.
The story of iCubemedia began seven years ago when Vernous immigrated from his native Haiti to northern New Brunswick, then moved to Moncton a year later. He knew he had to make some money, so he began to make and market his own smartphone apps.
Shortly after starting the company and developing a translation app, he enrolled at the McKenzie Accelerator, a support organization for early-stage startups that is run by the private design school McKenzie College. That mentorship helped him to develop new products and increase his sales to grow the business.
“I knew I had one product that (would) generate money but I thought I needed more products,” he said. “I wanted to make enough money to live on, then take the money and invest it in one big product.”
iCubemedia is now focusing on wrapping a collection of office management products into a single boxed set that has the software for desktops on a disc. The company will continue to court the market for smartphone apps, and is even planning to convert some existing products to Android operating systems.
But Vernous said his customers want a branded, store-shelf product for business managers — one that will allow users to transfer data from Invoice Manager onto their desktop. He warned it will take “a lot of time” to produce such a product, then he added that he hopes to have it on the market in six months.
“We’re getting there,” he said. “I’m not there yet, but it’s really where I want to go.”