No-code Bubble raises $ 100 million to make technical co-founders obsolete – TechCrunch

Among Silicon Valley circles, a fun board game is asking how far global GDP levels are held back by a lack of computer science and technical training. How many startups could be built if hundreds of thousands or even millions more people could code and bring their business ideas to life? How many bureaucratic processes could be eliminated if developers were more latent in all businesses?

The answer, of course, is on the order of “a lot,” but the barriers to reaching this world remain formidable. Computer science is a challenging field, and despite proactive attempts by legislatures to add more coding skills to school curricula, the reality is that the demand for software engineering far exceeds the supply available in the market.

Coding is not a bubble and Bubble wants to promote the democratization of software development and the creation of new startups. Through its platform, Bubble allows anyone, coder or not, to start building modern web applications using a click-and-drag interface that can connect data sources and other software in one seamless interface.

It’s a bold bet, and you just got a bold bet too. Bubble announced today that Insight Partners’ Ryan Hinkle has led a $ 100 million Series A round at the company. Hinkle, the firm’s longtime managing director, specializes in share purchase agreements and growing SaaS companies.

If that round size seems huge, it’s because Bubble has had a long history as a bootstrap company before reaching its current scale. Co-founders Emmanuel Straschnov and Josh Haas passed seven years starting and retouching the product, before securing a $ 6.5 million seed round in June 2019 run by SignalFire. Interestingly, according to Straschnov, Insight was the first venture company to come to Bubble in 2014. Seven years later, the two have signed and closed a deal.

Since the seed round, Bubble has been expanding its functionality. As a no-code tool, any missing features could block the construction of an application. “In our business, it’s a game of characteristics,” said Straschnov. “[Our users] They’re not technical, but they have high standards. ”He noted that the company introduced a plugin system that allows the Bubble community to create their own additions to the platform.

The Bubble editor offers a clickable interface to design dynamic web applications. Image Credits: Bubble.

As the platform matured, the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic last year came to fruition, which saw people scrambling for new skills and improving their prospects for what was then a bleak job market. Straschnov says Bubble saw an immediate increase in usage in March and April 2020, and the company has tripled revenue in the past 12 months.

Bubble’s focus for the past eight years has been helping people turn their ideas into startups. The company’s proposition is that a large number of companies, even backed by venture companies, could be built using Bubble without the expense of a large team of engineers writing code from scratch.

Unlike other no-code tools that focus on building internal corporate applications, Straschnov says the company remains as focused on these startups today as ever. “[We’re] we are not trying to advance the market yet, we are trying to do the same thing that AWS and Stripe did five years ago, “he said. Rather than trying to dominate the company, Bubble wants to grow with its new clients as they expand in scale.

Today, the company charges a range of prices based on the performance and scale requirements of an application. There’s a free tier, and then professional pricing starts at $ 25 / mo up to $ 475 / mo for their main offer. Corporate pricing is also available, as well as special student pricing.

On this last point, Bubble seeks to invest heavily in education using its newly raised capital. While the platform is easy to use, the reality is that any web application design can be intimidating to a new user, particularly one that is not technical. Therefore, the company wants to create more videos and documentation while investing heavily in partnerships with universities to get more students to use the platform.

While the no-code space has undergone a prodigious investment, Straschnov said “I don’t see all no-code players as competition … the real competition we have is code.” He noted that while the no-code label has been taken up by more and more startups, very few companies focus on their company’s specific niche, and he believes it offers a compelling value proposition in that category.

The company has doubled the number of employees since the start of the pandemic, from about 21 employees to about 45 today. They are slightly concentrated in New York City, but the company operates remotely and has employees in 15 states, as well as France. Straschnov says the company is aggressively looking to hire technical talent to build the product using its new funding.

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