WillowTree, Inc

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WillowTree, Inc.®
Type Software Applications Agency
Genre Mobile Application Development
Founded 2007
Founder Michael J. Prichard
Headquarters Charlottesville
No. of locations 3
Area served North America
Key people Michael J. Prichard, Tobias Dengel
Industry Software
Products Software Applications for Mobile Devices
Services Mobile Strategy, Mobile Design, Native Application Development, Mobile Website Development, Mobile Enterprise, Mobile Commerce, Emerging Platforms, Middleware Deployment, Backend Integration, API Development
Employees 200+
Divisions Business Development, Marketing, Design, Android Development, iOS Development
Website http://www.willowtreeapps.com/

WillowTree, Inc. is an America mobile application design and development company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. WillowTree creates sotware applications for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500.[1] The company has over 200 employees in both Charlottesville and Durham, North Carolina. [2]

The company has announced plans to relocate into the Woolen Mills building in Albemarle County. At the time they also announced they would add more than 200 jobs in the next few years. [3]


Michael Prichard began coding software in middle school. Immediately after college, he began working for Rotech Healthcare Inc.(APP, HFP) Prichard left Rotech and moved to Virginia with his family, where he founded an email archiving software company based on a document management system he developed.(APP, HFP) He sold the company to Trustwave in 2007.(HFP) With the release of the iPhone he independently developed applications with a loose network of other contractors, founding WillowTree in 2008.(HFP) Prichard is Chief Technical Officer at WillowTree. (B2C, HFP, INC)

Company Growth

Prichard met Tobias Dengel, founder and former president of Leads.com, who had experience in business, sales and marketing.(MLM, HFP, INC) In 2009, Dengel bought into the company and became its chief executive officer.(HFP, MLM) The pair bootstrapped the company, avoiding angel investors, to launch a series of iPhone applications.(HFP) The iPhone’s popularity fueled the fast-paced mobile app segment and WillowTree’s in-house team grew exponentially.(HFP) WillowTree provides its clients with custom applications that include back-end integration.(B2C) The company takes pride in the fact it does not outsource work overseas.(HFP, TDP)

The company uses a holistic approach to design and operations with project team members interfacing directly with the client.(HFP, B2C) One of WillowTree’s early applications was Spotasaurus—a mobile app that helps drivers find parking and provides pricing information.(TDP) Another of WillowTree's apps, a joint venture with CarbonHouse, connects visitors to the Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets fans with a variety of on-site extras, from video downloads to food ordering to ticket purchases and more.(BCBN, HFP)

Since 2008, revenue has grown exponentially, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.(INC) Clients include Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCare, NBA, GE, Valpak, Harvard Business Publishing, AOL, and the University of Virginia.(TDP, B2C, HFP)

Awards and Recognition
Inc. Magazine has named WillowTree one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for four years in a row (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012). [4]

WillowTree purchased Ohio-based Dynamit Technologies in November 2019, giving it 500 employees. As of 2018, the lead investor in the company is Insignia Capital. [5]

The COVID-19 Emergency took a tool on company revenue. CEO Tobias Dengell told the Albemarle Board of Supervisors that the company had lost a quarter of its clients due to economic impacts. The project did not qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program. WillowTree will ask for extensions of deadlines they need to meet to obtain local and state payments for new employees. [6] By the end of August, only about 20 employees were working on site. [7]

Community partnerships

WillowTree is working with Innovative Software Solutions, a Black-owned software development company, to raised funding for Computers4Kids. [7]


The early days of the pandemic resulted in a sharp hit to WillowTree, with the reported loss of about a quarter of clients.

The company also began its move into the redeveloped Woolen Mills.

Fast Company named the firm as one of the top 100 workplaces for innovators. [8]

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  1. Web. Charlottesville's WillowTree Apps gaining national attention, Nate Delesline III, Work It CVille, Media General, February 10, 2012, retrieved February 13, 2012.
  2. Web. Local businesses are at the forefront of the developing robotics world, Eric Wallace, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, August 3, 2017, retrieved August 3, 2017. Print. August 2, 2017 .
  3. Web. Governor Northam Announces 200 New Jobs in Albemarle County, Albemarle County, Albemarle County, August 27, 2018, retrieved August 28, 2018.
  4. Web. CBJ: 5 local companies make Inc. 5,000 list for rapid growth, Nate Delesline III, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, September 2, 2013, retrieved September 3, 2013.
  5. Web. WillowTree buys Ohio-based tech company, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 22, 2019, retrieved November 23, 2019. Print. November 22, 2019 page A3.
  6. Web. Woolen Mills project nears completion; Albemarle board agrees to another extension of agreement, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 21, 2020, retrieved May 24, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Web. Warner tours new WillowTree headquarters, Chelsea King, News Article, CBS19, August 26, 2020, retrieved August 27, 2020.
  8. Web. July 30, 2020: Superintendent Atkins recommends online-only start for schools, energy inequity in Charlottesville, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Community Engagement, Town Crier Productions, July 30, 2020, retrieved September 26, 2020.

<(MLM): BIA/Kelsey, Speakers: Tobias Dengel, http://www.biakelsey.com/mlmsf/Dengel.asp, retrieved April 4, 2013 (APP): App Conference, Michael Prichard, Founder and CTO, WillowTree Apps, July 24, 2012, http://appcon2012.engagedigital.com/speakers-info/michael-prtichard-founder-and-cto-willowtree-apps, retrieved April 4, 2013 (INC): Company Profile: WillowTree Apps, Inc. magazine, http://www.inc.com/profile/willowtree-apps, retrieved April 4, 2013 (TDP): “WillowTree Apps, SNL Financial among fastest-growing U.S. companies,” The Daily Progress, Aug. 21, 2012, http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/business/article_080ee86f-618d-501f-beea-d971bc3cbe54.html, retrieved April 4, 2012 (CFA): “CFA Institute launches ‘Top new finance app’ developed by WillowTree Apps,” Sept. 28, 2012, http://www.cfainstitute.org/about/press/release/Pages/09282011_61116.aspx, retrieved April 4, 2013 (B2C): Moore, John, “How will dev/ops impact mobile development?” April 3, 2013, reprinted article by same author, March 27, 2013, in Inspired Magazine, http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/how-will-devops-impact-mobile-app-development-0448176, retrieved April 4, 2013 (HFP): Hull, Jason, “An interview with WillowTree Apps founder and CTO, Michael Prichard,” Hull Financial Planning, http://www.hullfinancialplanning.com/an-interview-with-willow-tree-apps-founder-and-cto-michael-prichard, retrieved April 4, 2013 (BCBN): “Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets unveil apps that provide a premium in-arena experience,” Feb. 1, 2013, http://www.barclayscenter.com/news/detail/barclays-center-and-brooklyn-nets-unveil-apps-that-provide-a-premium-in-arena-experience, retrieved April 4, 2013 >

External Links

Official sites