The Future of Low/No Code

The global low/no-code cloud-based tools market has scaled at an impressive clip over the past handful of years. Driven in equal parts by rapid user adoption and buzzy fanfare across social outlets, the industry has, in turn, received outsized venture investment. In this report, we’ll focus on the three preeminent verticals that are actively being disrupted by the low/no-code wave: internal tools, web development, and visual design.

Notable fundraises include Webflow’s $72 million round last August and Pitch’s $30 million round last October. Importantly, the latter’s raise opted for a range of operator-angels on the cap table, include Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Tiny Capital’s Andrew Wilkinson, and Superhuman’s Rahul Vohra, among others.

Internal Tools

Internal tools enable rapidly scaling organizations to lean on core operating systems driven by powerful workflow management software. The core functionality of this specific cohort empowers both individuals and teams within an organization to customize real-time workflows without needing technical skills. This set of cloud-based tools enable replicable operating procedures across distinct verticals, massively enhancing internal comms and outputs.

Retool is a fast and easy way to build and maintain internal tools. It connects to most SQL databases (Postgres, MySQL, MS SQL, BigQuery, Redshift). At its core, Retool is designed for easy onboarding, requiring only ten minutes for an employee to understand the basic concepts.

Airtable is on a mission to democratize software creation by enabling anyone to build the tools that meet their needs. The most widely adopted of this first cohort, Airtable’s value proposition lies in its ability to enable cross-functional teams to edit and maintain large scale quantitative databases. In November of 2018, Airtable raised $100M in Series C financing.

Pipefy is the workflow management software that makes business processes like purchasing, onboarding, and recruiting hassle-free. In turn, the company improves efficiency outcomes for requesters, processors, and managers alike. Through automated workflows, Pipefy enhances speed and increases visibility to deliver higher quality outcomes without IT implementation.

Web Dev

No/low-code software tools focused on web development give people the ability to create robust websites and applications without writing a line of code. Among the three cohorts that analyze in this report, the web dev movement is likely the furthest ahead in terms of pure user adoption metrics. By continuing to grow customer bases, each of these companies has doubled down on their investment in accessibility, performance, and data privacy over the last few years.

Webflow empowers designers to create beautiful, responsive websites — without writing a single line of code, or relying on a developer. Its drag-and-drop interface looks, feels, and works like familiar desktop design tools, and writes clean, semantic code. Webflow is backed by Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, Tim Draper, and other high profile investors.

Ghost is a platform dedicated to publishing: an open-source, professional publishing platform built on a modern Node.js technology stack — designed for teams who need power, flexibility, and performance. It allows users to write and publish their own blogs, giving them the tools to make it easy and fun to do. Most recently, the company raised $7M in Series A financing.

Bubble is a visual programming platform that enables anyone to create web applications with zero coding experience. Apps built on Bubble can range from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces and platforms like those at Airbnb and Twitter. Bubble serves more than 250K customers, spanning YC startups to companies with hundreds of millions in venture funding.

Visual Design

Cloud-based software platforms focused on visual design within the low/no-code market share a long-term goal to integrate with a myriad of third-party apps and data streams that the modern workforce uses on a daily basis. These key integrations enable seamless workflows, and in turn, seamless design across both on and offline platforms on both the browser, desktop, and mobile.

Pitch was built for collaboration and created with modern teams in mind. Focused on real-time communication, smart workflows, and customizable templates, Pitch makes it easy for teams to work together to develop beautiful presentations.

Figma, the widely adopted of this final cohort, offers the first professional-grade, cloud-based tool that is specifically built for interface design. Born on the web, the company helps product teams create, test, and ship better designs, faster. In April 2020, Figma raised another $50M.

Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that enables distributed teams to work effectively together, from running brainstorming sessions and workshops to planning projects, from designing new products and services to facilitating agile ceremonies. It has more than 7M users (and 80%+ of the Fortune 100) and raised $50M in their Series B funding in April 2020.

At Conduit, we connect the world’s best operator-investors and founders building the next generation of startups around the world.

As we scale our platform, understanding key market shifts across verticals will become increasingly vital. Our team will be digging deeper into emerging trends and first movers in the coming weeks, which you can find here.

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VC investor in NYC.

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Sree Kolli

Sree Kolli

VC investor in NYC.

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