Education technology firm Apptegy Inc. of Little Rock on Friday announced plans to hire 300 workers over the next few years, growing its workforce to about 700 as it expands its product offerings.
Since Apptegy launched in 2015, the company’s main product has been its school communications and branding platform, Thrillshare, which integrates with social media, text message, voice calls, mobile apps and more.
A new product that integrates with Thrillshare takes the platform into the classroom, providing parent-teacher chat solutions. Founder and CEO Jeston George said it has received “quite a bit of traction and also really positive feedback from the market.”
“Everything that we’ve done in our lifetime, in our history, has been the one product and selling into one market. Now we’re building our second,” he said. “We’ve already built our second product and we’re building out our third or fourth, right, so the scale and the rate in which we’re going is about to accelerate.”
George said the innovation was driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools needed to change how they communicated with students and parents, and learning took place online. He said two-way solutions like those offered by Apptegy quickly went from a luxury to a necessity, and better communication tools have been developed as a result.
Apptegy currently works with over 3,000 school districts across the U.S. and recently partnered with its first two international schools.
The company’s expansion comes as many tech companies cut jobs amid slowing growth, shrinking investment and economic uncertainty. George said Apptegy has avoided those problems by adhering to a unit economics business model. While other tech firms have burned through venture capital to scale, Apptegy has grown based on the actual value its products generate.
“That’s a much longer conversation, but really, it comes down to we really had really strong unit economics along the way and we never sacrifice the unit economics,” he said.
George founded Apptegy after he discovered that his nephew’s school didn’t have a mobile app where he could keep up with school programs. The compant was named one of America’s Best Startup Employers by Forbes in 2020 and 2021, listed as one of Inc.’s 5000 fastest growing private companies in 2021, and ranked as of Inc.’s Best Workplaces in 2022.