No-code platform Bubble wants to create a world full of developers and it's using a $100 million round to get there.
What’s happening: Bubble’s 9-figure Series A round was led by Insight Partners with participation from Betaworks and other angel investors including the founders of Hootsuite, Peloton, and Datadog. The company — which is keeping its valuation private — plans to use the capital to hire more engineers, host educational bootcamps, and build its community.
In the news: Founded in 2012, Bubble bootstrapped its growth through 2019, and co-founder Emmanuel Straschnov didn't take a salary for five years. Redditors are clowning Bubble's name, but the company is no joke. It tripled revenue in the past three years and 1 million people use the platform to build web and desktop apps regardless of their tech skills.
Bubble 101: Bubble created a no-code platform that allows anyone to build web apps via a click-and-drag interface. Bubble’s tools integrate with popular services from Google, Slack, Stripe, Airtable, Amazon, Basecamp, Twitter, and many others.
“Our goal with this raise is to bring no-code software development from the cutting edge of technology to the mainstream. Our users today are building tech better: no-code is a faster, easier, and more inclusive way of creating software than traditional engineering.”—Bubble co-founders Joshua Haas & Emmanuel Straschnov
The context: The world faced a big tech talent shortage before the pandemic. Then COVID-19 hit, pushing more companies to digitize and launch stores to meet 2021's projected 13.7% boost in e-commerce. Despite the demand, more than 40 million tech jobs went unfilled in 2020, according to tech consultant Daxx. In the U.S., that unrealized potential translated to $162 billion lost.
What it means: As a result of the shortage, no- and low-code platforms are exploding and hope to make their offerings a staple among businesses. The global no- and low-code tech market is projected to hit $13.8 billion in 2021 — an increase of nearly 23 percent from 2020 and 51 percent since 2019, according to Gartner Inc.
Developer shortage: The global developer shortage is simple to understand. The modern economy needs more tech but countries aren’t producing enough skilled workers to keep up. The gap between supply and demand is growing, too, as the U.S. had only 400,000 computer science grads in 2020 and 1.4 million openings. There are, of course, many self-taught coders or alternative routes to becoming a developer but the need is still growing.
The numbers: By 2030, the global talent shortage is expected to hit 85.2 million workers at current rates. Companies are feeling the crunch, as about 87 percent of businesses are experiencing a computer science/developer shortage or expect to face it in a few years, according to McKinsey.
Big vision: Bubble has set lofty goals for the future, noting that its “work will be done” when 95 percent of software is written by people without formal educational backgrounds in engineering. It also wants software development to be accessible by anyone, regardless of where they live, how much money they have, or their education level.
Examples: With Bubble, users can create custom marketplaces, social media, booking and scheduling apps, community platforms, delivery services, job boards, educational tools, and other apps. A few examples of Bubble in action are boat-dock marketplace Piershare, personal finance tool Qoins, jobs board goodgigs, and garden-maintenance booking toolYardGuru. Arguably the most notable company using Buble is the clean energy financing platform Dividend, which raised $365 million in funding.
Fierce competition: Low- and no-code tools have existed for years but it’s becoming a more crowded space as companies like Zapier, Webflow, AppSheet, AppyPie, Nintex, and many others jockey for market share.
No-code IHers: In March, Indie Hacker @bentossel made international headlines when his company Makerpad was acquired by Zapier, representing the tech giant's first acquisition. There’s also a robust no-code group on Indie Hackers with more than 18,000 people.
Do you use no- or low-code tools with your business? Do you have experience with Bubble? Share your experience below.