Zapier acquires Makerpad as demand for no-code tools skyrockets

The wildly-successful no-code automation company Zapier has acquired Makerpad, a no-code education service and community. No financial details were shared.

Oh, and in case you didn't know, Makerpad founder Ben Tossell, @bentossell, has ties with Indie Hackers.

In an exclusive interview with TechCrunch, Tossell said that the acquisition would help further develop the future of no-code tools and was a “no-brainer” over “alternative routes such as VC funding.”

What’s no-code? Computer programming used to entail knowledge of coding. Companies like Zapier and Makerpad are changing that. No-code development is a tool that helps programmers and non-technical folk alike create apps and software through a graphical user interface and configurations instead of using code.

Zapier 101: Zapier has been crushing over the last few years and has been profitable since 2014. The most successful no code company on the market has added team features, more lucrative pricing tiers, and surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue. Zapier has raised only $1.3 million in seed equity funding in 2012. More than 30 million people visit Zapier each day, and the company recently announced more than 3,000 partner apps on its platform. It now has more than 400 remote-only employees.

Makerpad 101: Makerpad offers 320 tutorials and a variety of templates that teach users how to automate their work and build tools without developers without code. The Makerpad community includes a wide variety of creators discussing no-code and their projects. Makerpad has "thousands of customers," according to its press release.

Tossell told TechCrunch that no-code has surged in popularity beyond his expectations and the company has expanded its users 4x within the last year. Makerpad will remain a “stand-alone” company, Tossell added.

"A future where people aren't limited by a lack of coding knowledge is a vision that unites Makerpad and Zapier. Zapier has changed how the world moves and works with tech, and I couldn't be more proud that Makerpad will now be working alongside them." —Ben Tossell, founder and CEO of Makerpad

Why it’s a big deal

Makerpad is Zapier’s first acquisition. By acquiring Makerpad, Zapier will beef up its offerings, add new customers, and potentially boost the broader use of no-code tools. By joining forces with Zapier, Tossell and the Makerpad team can chase a dream from its founding days.

“At the end of the day, I'd love to teach as many people as possible to build without code,” Tossell told Indie Hackers in 2019.

With a well-heeled and growing partner, Makerpad should be able to accomplish that goal.

The road ahead: Together, Zapier and Makerpad will likely significantly boost the adoption and ubiquity of no-code. Zapier CEO Wade Foster said the duo will work toward a future where all people can build without code.

"For years we've watched in admiration as Ben pushed the limits on what you could build without ever writing a line of code. Zapier will continue to make automation easy and Makerpad will teach you how to do it. Together we'll work toward ensuring anyone with a problem or an idea, no matter their technical abilities, can solve it themselves." —Wade Foster, co-founder and CEO of Zapier

In 2017, Foster joined Indie Hackers' Courtland Allen in a conversation on Zapier, its mission, and goals. Check it out here.

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