Five VCs discuss how no-code is going horizontal in industries around the world – TechCrunch
Few subjects earn cheers and moans as fast as the software explosion without code.
While investors seem uniformly bullish on toolsets that streamline and automate processes that once required decent technical know-how, not everyone seems to think that the product class is largely a new phenomenon.
On the one hand, basic tools like Microsoft Excel have long given non-technical users a path to performing complex tasks. (There is historical precedent for the prospect.) On the other hand, a recent episode of low-code / no-code startups hitting huge ratings is too remarkable to ignore, spanning apps like Notion, Airtable, and Coda.
The TechCrunch team was interested in digging into what defines the latest iteration of no-code and which industries might be the next target for entrepreneurs in the space. To get an answer on what drives investor enthusiasm behind no-code, we reached out to a handful of investors who have explored the space:
As usual, we’ll extract some of the key trends and themes we’ve identified from the responses collected by the group, after which we’ll share their responses in detail, slightly edited for clarity and formatting.
Our investor participants agreed that low-code / no-code applications have not reached their maximum potential, but there was some disagreement on the degree of universality of their appeal to various industries. “Every trend is in a way surpassed. Low-code / no-code applications show great promise in some areas, but not all, ”Raviraj Jain of Lightspeed told us.
Meanwhile, Darian Shirazi of Gradient said that “all industries could benefit from an increase in no-code / low-code tools. We can see it anyway, frankly.
Laela Sturdy of CapitalG says the reach of allure comes down to finding industries that face the greatest constraints in supplying technical talent.
“There just isn’t enough IT talent to meet the demand, and issues like security and maintenance take up most of the IT department’s time. If business users want to build new systems, they have to wait months, or in most cases years, to see their needs met, ”she writes. “The absence of code changes the equation because it allows business users to take ownership of the change and achieve the goals themselves.”
Mayfield’s Rajeev Batra agreed, saying it would be cool “not to see twenty million developers [building] really cool software but two, three hundred million people developing really cool and interesting software. If that ends up being the case, the sheer number of monthly assets in the no-code and low-code spaces would imply a huge revenue base for the startup category.
This makes a bet on platforms in space somewhat obvious.
And these bets are placed. When it comes to developer ratings and interest, our collected interviewees were largely optimistic about (competitive) start-up prices and (strong) venture capital demand for code-free fundraising today. .
Sturdy added that the number of start-ups in the category “are funded at an accelerating rate,” noting that his company “is enthusiastically watching this young cohort of emerging companies without a code and intends to invest in the trend. for years. coming. “So we’re not about to run out of fodder for more A and B series in space.
Overall, like it or not, the trend for no-code, low-code startups seems firm both from a market perspective and from an investor interest perspective. Now the rest of the notes.
Laela Sturdy, general partner, CapitalG
We’ve seen some skepticism in the market that the low-code / no-code trend has gained its current hype, or product category. Do you agree that the product trend is overrated or misclassified?
I don’t think it’s too publicized, but I think it’s often misunderstood. No code / low code has existed for a long time. Many of us have been using Microsoft Excel as a low-code tool for decades, but the market has recently caught fire due to an increase in applicable use cases and a ton of innovation in the capabilities of these new ones. low-code / no-code platforms, especially around their ease of use, the level and type of abstractions they can perform, and their extensibility / connectivity to other parts of the technology stack. ‘a company. On the demand side, the need for digital transformation is at an all time high and cannot be met with the technology platforms in place, especially given the shortage of technical workers. Low-code / no-code tools have stepped in to fill this void by allowing knowledge workers – who are 10 times more populated than technical workers – to configure the software without having to code. This has the potential to save a lot of time and money and enable end-to-end digital experiences in businesses faster.
What other opportunities does the proliferation of low-code / no-code programs open up when it comes to technical and non-technical people working more closely together?
This is where things get exciting. If you look at large enterprises today, IT departments and business units are constantly misaligned as IT teams are resource-constrained and unable to respond quickly enough to basic business needs. There simply aren’t enough IT talent to keep up with demand, and issues like security and maintenance take up most of the IT department’s time. If business users want to build new systems, they have to wait months or, in most cases, years to have their needs met. The absence of code changes the equation because it allows business users to take the change into their own hands and achieve the goals themselves. The rapid state of digital transformation – which has only been accelerated by the pandemic – requires more business logic to be encoded into automations and applications. There is no code that makes this transition possible for many companies.