Category: no code

‘No code’ process automation platform, Leapwork, fires up with $62M Series B



Copenhagen-based process automation platform Leapwork has snagged Denmark’s largest ever Series B funding round, announcing a $62 million raise co-led by KKR and Salesforce Ventures, with existing investors DN Capital and Headline also participating.

Also today it’s disclosing that its post-money valuation now stands at $312M. 

The ‘no code’ 2015-founded startup last raised back in 2019, when it snagged a $10M Series A. The business was bootstrapped through earlier years — with the founders putting in their own money, garnered from prior successful exits. Their follow on bet on ‘no code’ already looks to have paid off in spades: Since launching the platform in 2017, Leapwork has seen its customer base more than double year on year and it now has a roster of 300+ customers around the world paying it to speed up their routine business processes.

Software testing is a particular focus for the tools, which Leapwork pitches at enterprises’ quality assurance and test teams.

It claims that by using its ‘no code’ tech — a label for the trend which refers to software that’s designed to be accessible to non-technical staff, greatly increasing its utility and applicability — businesses can achieve a 10x faster time to market, 97% productivity gains, and a 90% reduction in application errors. So the wider pitch is that it can support enterprises to achieve faster digital transformations with only their existing mix of in-house skills. 

Customers include the likes of PayPal, Mercedes-Benz and BNP Paribas.

Leapwork’s own business, meanwhile, has (Read more...)

Sora’s HR automation software raises $14M Series A



HR automation software startup Sora announced this morning that it closed a $14 million Series A round of funding. Two Sigma Ventures led the financing event, putting in $10 million, with prior investors completing the round.

The round comes after Sora raised a $5.3 million seed round in July 2020. First Round and Elad Gil led that investment.

TechCrunch caught up with Sora CEO Laura Del Beccaro to chat about the round. We were curious about why this was the right moment for the company to raise more capital — the startup noted last year that it had around 2.5 years of runway — and what it intends to do with the money.

Regarding the first question, Del Beccaro said that her company raised its seed round to validate its market after finding early traction with its product. The CEO added that her company found better problem validation — product-market fit, essentially — than it had anticipated in the following quarters, and that after a year of scaling “thoughtfully” is now ready to accelerate its growth in both financial and human terms.

Sora reached an inflection point, she said, sometime in the first half of 2020. The early COVID days, in other words. The pandemic was tough on HR teams, Del Beccaro explained: With employees going remote, and a shift to hiring over Zoom, you can imagine why HR teams were having a time and a half during the rapid shakeups of the labor market.

The startup’s growth accelerated (Read more...)

Airtable makes Bayes its first acquisition to up its data visualization game



Airtable, the makers of the no code relational database, announced its first acquisition today, acquiring Bayes, an early stage visualization startup. The purpose of the purchase is to enhance the data visualizations on the Airtable platform. The companies did not share the purchase price.

Much like Airtable, Bayes focuses on a no-code approach and the two companies have a shared vision about simplifying activities that once required engineering talent to pull off. Airtable CEO and co-founder Howie Liu says that while he hasn’t really been thinking about acquisitions, this opportunity came along and he liked how the team and product fit in with the Airtable no-code philosophy.

“We fell in love with the team and the product that they had built insofar as it showed us their vision for for doing data visualization in a really interesting and user friendly way that we thought would be applicable…and in spirit to be able to apply that kind of design thinking to Airtable’s product and enable our customers to basically better visualize their data,” Liu said.

Bayes’s four employees have joined Airtable and the plan is to shut down the product and incorporate the functionality into Airtable in the coming months.

Will Strimling, company co-founder says his startup matched up well with Airtable, which he said was a huge inspiration for his company since it launched in 2019. He said that it seemed like they could be better together after the two companies began (Read more...)

No-code Bubble raises $100M to make technical co-founders obsolete



Among Silicon Valley circles, a fun parlor game is to ask to what extent world 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 entrepreneurial ideas to fruition? How many bureaucratic processes could be eliminated if developers were more latent in every business?

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 into school curriculums, the reality is that the demand for software engineering vastly outstrips the supply available in the market.

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

It’s a bold bet — and it’s just received a bold bet as well. Bubble announced today that Ryan Hinkle of Insight Partners has led a $100 million Series A round into the company. Hinkle, a longtime managing director at the firm, specializes in growth buyout deals as well as growth SaaS companies.

If that round size seems huge, it’s because Bubble has had a long history as a bootstrapped (Read more...)

Y Combinator-backed Uiflow wants to accelerate no-code enterprise app creation



TechCrunch recently caught up with recent Y Combinator graduate Uiflow, a startup that is building a no-code enterprise app creation service.

If you are thinking wait, don’t a number of companies already do that?, the answer is yes. But what Quickbase, Smartsheet and others are working on isn’t quite the same thing, at least from the startup’s perspective.

Uiflow, a Bay Area-based concern that has been alive for far less than a year, has built an app creation tool that works with whatever backend a large company currently employs, and helps its development team build apps collaboratively. As the startup explained in a public posting, customer developers can import Figma files while their engineers can use existing UI libraries, and product managers can quickly vet an app’s logic.

The service is akin to a “cross between Unity and Figma,” Uiflow says.

Here’s what its own user interface looks like, per a screenshot the company provided to TechCrunch after an interview:

Per Y Combinator, the company has closed a pre-seed round of more than $500,000. The company told TechCrunch that it has been talking to investors lately — as essentially every Y Combinator-backed startup does after their public unveiling —  but appears to be holding off raising more capital until it fully launches self-service of its product; the company may also accelerate its hiring efforts once its self-serve GTM motion is more broadly available.

The startup told TechCrunch that after its Product Hunt launch it picked (Read more...)

No-code publishing platform Shorthand raises $8M



Shorthand, the Australian startup behind a no-code platform that allows publishers and brands to create multimedia stories, has raised $10 million Australian (just under $8 million U.S.) from Fortitude Investment Partners.

CEO Ricky Robinson told me via email that this is Shorthand’s first institutional round of funding, and that the company has been profitable for the past two years.

“We’ve been lucky enough to grow to where we are today through an entirely inbound, organic model that leverages the beautiful content that our customers create in Shorthand to generate leads,” Robinson wrote. “But we’ve been testing other channels with some success and the time is right to ramp up those other marketing initiatives. That’s where we’ll be spending this funding, while also investing heavily in our product to keep Shorthand at the cutting edge of storytelling innovation for the web.”

Those customers include the BBC, Dow Jones, the  University of Cambridge, Nature, Manchester City FC and Peloton. For example, BBC News used Shorthand to create this story about searching for dinosaur fossils.

The Shorthand website extols the virtues of “scrollytelling,” where a reader can trigger interesting transitions and effects simply by scrolling through the story. Robinson suggested that this is a way to make stories feel interactive and engaging “without asking your audience to learn how to interact with it.”

As you can see in the demo video above, Shorthand offers a fairly straightforward drag-and-drop interface for adding different text and media elements, as well as (Read more...)

UI-licious gets $1.5M led by Monk’s Hill Ventures to simplify automated UI testing for web apps



UI-licious’ co-founders, chief technology officer Eugene Cheah (left) and chief executive officer Shi Ling Tai (right)

UI-licious’ co-founders, chief technology officer Eugene Cheah (left) and chief executive officer Shi Ling Tai (right)

UI-licious, a Singapore-based startup that simplifies automated user interface testing for web applications, announced today it has raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding. The round was led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and will be used to grow UI-licious’ product development and marketing teams.

Founded in 2016 by Shi Ling Tai and Eugene Cheah, UI-licious serves companies of all sizes, and its current clients include Daimler, Jones Lang LaSalle and tech recruitment platform Glints.

Tai, UI-licious’ chief executive officer, said that about 90% of software teams around the world rely on manual testing, which is both time-consuming and expensive. UI-licious enables users to write test scripts in pseudocode, or a language that is similar to plain English and therefore accessible to people with little programming experience.

A screenshot of UI-licious' test reporting feature

A screenshot of UI-licious’ test reporting feature

Software teams can then schedule how often the tests run. UI-licious’ proprietary smart targeting test engine supports all browsers and allows the same scripts to be run even if there are changes in a web application’s user interface or underlying code. It also produces detailed error reports to reduce the time needed to find and fix a bug.

When asked how UI-licious compares to other automated user interface testing solutions, Tai told TechCrunch, “Coded solutions require a trained engineer to inspect the website’s code to write the test (Read more...)

Zapier buys no-code-focused Makerpad in its first acquisition



Zapier, a well-known no-code automation tool, has purchased Makerpad, a no-code education service and community. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TechCrunch has covered Zapier often during its life, including its first, and only fundraising event, a $1.2 million round back in 2012 that tapped Bessemer, DFJ, and others. Since then company has added more expensive tiers to its service, built out team-focused features, and recently talked to Extra Crunch about how it scaled its remote-only team.

In an interview Monday with Zapier CEO Wade Foster told TechCrunch that his company now has 400 workers, and crossed the $100 million ARR mark last summer.

The Makerpad deal is its first acquisition. TechCrunch asked Makerpad founder Ben Tossell about the structure of the deal, who said via email that his company will operate as a “stand-alone” entity from its new parent company.

The deal doesn’t seem prepped to upend what the smaller startup was working on before it was signed. “Ultimately,” Tossell wrote, “Makerpad’s vision is to educate as many people as possible on the possibilities of building without writing code.”

Foster seems content with that focus, describing to TechCrunch how he intends to let Makerpad operate largely independently, albeit inside a set of editorial guidelines.

TechCrunch asked the Makerpad founder why this was the right time to sell his business. He said that the pairing would help his team take the no-code world further than it could alone, also noting that the deal was a (Read more...)