Founded in 2008, profitable since 2009, Durham-based Two Toasters has turned an app development niche into a booming business.

The boot-strapped startup ranks No. 787 on the latest Inc. 5000 list with revenue surging 579 percent over the past three years. In an exclusive Insider interview, CEO Rachit Shukla explains why Two Toasters is so hot.

In explaining Two Toasters’ vision, Shukla is simple and direct:

“Thoughtfully craft mobile solutions to improve people’s lives.”

That philosophy and the resulting creative work (check out their web site for some impressive samples) has helped Two Toasters generate $3.1 million in revenue in 2013. As sales have grown, so has head count. The company has added 20 employees to its roster, and it’s continuing to hire.

In fact, Two Toasters will soon move into new, larger office space. 

The world’s move to mobile only accelerated in 2013 as more people began using more and more mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets, “phablets” and laptops.

Two Toasters enables customers to cash in on that trend with slick apps.

And Shukla cites several factors as being the key factors in driving growth

“Great talent,” he lists first. “We have an exceptionally talented team that’s focused on just mobile. This level of expertise and experience makes us a sought-after commodity.”

While apps and apps developers are everywhere, Two Toasters tries to set itself apart with a continuing “reinvestment” in resources and talent. Plus, the company is bootstrapped and profitable, so executives don’t have to waste time dealing with investors.

“Reinvestment,” Shukla cites as success factor No. 2.

“The partners in the company are motivated to build a company that’s bigger than any one individual. As such we reinvest heavily in hiring good, paying competitively and investing in our team.”

Then there is the company’s footprint. It’s not just a Durham-based operation.

“National Exposure,” Shukla says as factor No. 3.

“Our office in NYC allows us to get projects and clients that would normally not be exposed to a NC company.”

But there’s more than these three. When asked what sets Two Toasters apart as an apps developer, he cites experience, track record, and “slim teams.”

“We started Two Toasters the day after the Apple App Store launched,” Shukla explains. “Along with our focus mobile we have been able to build a high level of expertise when it comes to thinking about mobile strategy, design and execution.

Then there are the “slim teams,” which encourage customer involvement.

“Our clients work directly with our designers and developers who lead projects,” he points out. “As such there isn’t a tremendous amount of overhead which can often result in bloat or removal of the key execution people from the actual work.”

Then there is the client list. 

“We have achieved a high level of success in the m-commerce, fashion and travel,” Shukla says, pointing to Airbnb, Jackthreads, Ebates, Birchbox and Simple.

No Outside Capital

A standard question for any startup is whether it is seeking outside investment. Most entrepreneurs will say they spend a great deal of time thinking about that issue.

Not so at Two Toasters.

“We are not actively looking because we have seen good success growing organically and don’t need outside capital to reach our goals,” Shukla says.

But if the right investor calls …

“That being said if there’s an investor who resonates with our motivations (building a high caliber team – long-term value building) we are open to discussions.”

Next Big Moves

Hiring and moving are big items on the Two Toaster agenda right now.

“We will be moving into the Reed Building in the American Tobacco Complex in Durham,” Shulka says. the company is taking somne 11,400 square feet of space.

Then there is headcount.

Says the CEO: “We are looking to add an additional 6-10 people before the end of year.”