while there are different perspectives As to the extent to which no-code and low-code development tools could eventually displace human software developers, it’s clear that any software that takes care of the technical “heavy lift” has a huge impact within companies – in terms of opening apps to more people. staff, closing the talent gap and helping existing developers focus on more demanding tasks.
A quick look at the recent funding landscape shows little sign of a slowdown in the no-code/low-code movement. In 2022 alone we will have people like Webflow draw of $120 million for a no-code website builder; Softr raises $13.5 million Series A to help companies build apps on top of Airtable databases; Appsmith secures $41 million Series B for custom internal business apps; Retool attracts $45 million cash injection for a similar proposal; and Thunkable closes on 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, something the fledgling Northern Ireland startup budibase is capitalizing on this by announcing a new $7 million tranche of funding to further develop an open source web app builder.
Founded in 2019 in Belfast, 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 apps in minutes. Such apps can be anything from customer help desk applications, application tracking systems and inventory management systems to admin panels, portals and forms.
It’s also worth noting that Budibase also packs its own built-in database based on CouchDB, for those looking to build apps from scratch.
“Every company we speak to says the same thing – ‘we have a long backlog of internal tool tickets holding us back,'” Budibase co-founder Joe Johnston told londonbusinessblog.com. “With Budibase, enterprises build in-house tools and transform workflows in days, not months, which is a huge cost savings and catalyst for innovation.”
One of Budibase’s main selling points is that it’s open source, which gives businesses more flexibility and extensibility, but also allows them to host everything themselves – this is especially important for enterprises with sensitive data that they may want to protect from the SaaS-y links from 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 SLAs and unlimited 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 happened to announce its first institutional funding earlier this year through a $2.2 million pre-Series A investment. So this not only highlights the demand for no- and low-code app builders, but also the ability to maintain full control over corporate data and gain full visibility into what’s going on under the hood.
“Companies like this because they have access to the codebase and they can patch if needed [which is useful for] risk mitigation,” Johnston said.
Automation for the people
Budibase aims to differentiate itself in a number of ways, through more subjective elements like usability, but also specific differentiators like built-in automations similar to something like Zapier.
Indeed, Budibase includes automations powered by webhooks and actions that are good for going out-of-the-box, but can also be tweaked by the more technically minded who want to throw their own scripts into the pot. Such automations can cover any number of use cases, such as automatically approving (or denying) an employee’s time off request via an internal form, or providing a new inbound lead notification to the sales team at the start of their shift.
“We want to deliver a platform that helps developers and non-developers—but technical workers—innovate and accelerate their workplace,” said Johnston.
A quick glance at the Budibase homepage reveals a pretty impressive array of company logos, from Google and Netflix to Tesla and Disney. At first glance, it appears that these are fully signed up Budibase customers, but unfortunately this is not the case – Budibase uses a tracking tool called Scarf to detect which domains are downloading the open source Budibase software. So this doesn’t tell us much about how Budibase is used by these companies, whether it’s being tested in-house or just curious employees downloading it for their own interests.
“Employees from some of the companies listed are active in our community,” Johnston said. “For example, Scarf told us that Google has deleted the Budibase Docker image over 150 times.”
Budibase had previously raised $1.8 million in seed funding, and the latest $7 million “seed II” funding round has included investments from SignalFire, Angular Ventures, Techstart and a slew of angel backers.