Although there are differing views on the extent to which no-code and low-code development tools could eventually supplant human software developers, it is clear that any software that supports technical “heavy lifting” has a huge impact within enterprises — in terms of opening up application building to more people, filling talent gaps, and helping existing developers focus on more demanding tasks.
A quick look at the recent funding landscape shows little sign of the no-code/low-code movement slowing down. In 2022 alone, we saw Webflow pull in $120 million for a no-code website builder; Softr Raises $13.5M Series A to Help Companies Build Applications on Airtable Databases; Appsmith secured $41M Series B to power custom internal business apps; Retool attracts $45 million cash injection for similar proposal; and Thunkable locks in a $30 million investment for a no-code mobile app development platform.
So, despite the broader downturn, it looks like 2022 has been relatively favorable for startups operating in the no- and low-code sphere, which young Northern Irish startup Budibase is capitalizing on with the announcement of a new round of funding from $7 million to further develop an open source web application builder.
Founded in Belfast in 2019, Budibase allows users to connect to an external data source – such as Postgres, MySQL, Oracle, Google Sheets or Airtable – and develop internal tools or business applications in minutes. These apps can include anything from customer support apps, application tracking systems, and inventory management systems to admin panels, portals, and forms.
Example of a business application in action. Picture credits: Budibase
It’s also worth noting that Budibase also comes with its own built-in CouchDB-based database, for those looking to build applications entirely from scratch.
“Every company we talk to says the same thing: ‘We have a long backlog of internal tool tickets that are holding us back,'” Budibase co-founder Joe Johnston told TechCrunch. “With Budibase, companies create in-house tools and transform workflows in days, not months, which is a huge cost savings and a catalyst for innovation.”
One of the main selling points of Budibase is that it is open source, which gives companies more flexibility and extensibility, but also allows them to host everything themselves. This is especially important for companies with sensitive data that they may want to protect from SaaS-y clutches. third-party infrastructure.
In addition to the free self-hosted version of Budibase, the company also offers a range of premium and enterprise plans with add-on features (such as unlimited SLAs and automation logs) and a fully managed hosted incarnation.
Budibase is somewhat similar to other players in the open-source low-code development space, including the aforementioned Appsmith and Joget who, as it happens, announced their first institutional funding earlier this year via an investment of $2.2 million pre-Series A. This therefore highlights the demand not only for creators of no-code and low-code applications, but also the ability to retain full control over corporate data and gain full insight into what is happening underneath. the hood.
“Companies like it because they have access to the code base and can fix it if they need to. [which is useful for] risk mitigation,” Johnston said.
Automation for people
Budibase seeks to stand out in several ways, through more subjective elements such as usability, but also through specific differentiators such as built-in automations comparable to something like Zapier.
Indeed, Budibase includes automations powered by webhooks and actions that are good to go out of the box, but can also be customized by the more technical ones who want to throw their own scripts in the pot. These automations can cover any number of use cases, such as automatically approving (or denying) an employee’s leave request via an internal form, or sending a new lead notification entering the sales team at the start of his shift.
“We want to provide a platform that helps developers and non-developers – but technical employees – innovate and accelerate their workplace,” said Johnston.
Budibase automation in action. Picture credits: Budibase
A quick glance at the Budibase homepage reveals a pretty impressive list of company logos, from Google and Netflix to Tesla and Disney. At first glance, these would appear to be fully registered Budibase customers, but alas they are not – Budibase uses a tracking tool called Scarf to detect which domains are downloading the open source Budibase software. So that doesn’t tell us much about How? ‘Or’ What Budibase is used in these companies, whether it’s being tested internally or just curious employees downloading it for their own interests.
“Employees at some of the companies mentioned are active in our community,” Johnston said. “For example, Scarf told us that Google deleted the Budibase Docker image more than 150 times.”
Budibase had previously raised $1.8 million in seed funding, and its latest “seed II” funding round of $7 million included investments from SignalFire, Angular Ventures, Techstart, and a slew of angel investors.