Meet Budibase, an open source, low-code web app builder with automation • TechCrunch

While there are differing perspectives on the extent to which no-code and low-code development tools could eventually replace human software developers, it’s clear that any software that takes care of the technical “heavy lifting” has a huge impact on business. opening app development to more staff, filling the talent gap, and helping existing developers focus on more demanding tasks.

A quick look at the recent funding landscape shows little sign of the no-code / low-code movement slowing down. In 2022 alone we’ve seen the likes of Webflow raise $120 million for a no-code website builder. Softr raises $13.5M Series A to help companies build apps on top of Airtable databases. Appsmith secures a $41 million Series B to power custom internal business apps. Retool is raising $45 million in cash for a similar proposal. and Thunkable lock in a $30 million investment for a code-free mobile app development platform.

So despite the broader recession, it looks like 2022 may have been relatively kind to startups operating in the no-code and low-code realm, something New Irish startup Budibase is taking advantage of with the announcement of a new $7 million funding round. further develop an open source web application builder.

Founded by Belfast in 2019, Budibase allows users to connect to an external data source — such as Postgres, MySQL, Oracle, Google Sheets or Airtable — and develop internal tools or business applications in minutes. Such applications can include anything from customer help desk applications, application tracking systems and inventory management systems to dashboards, portals and forms.

Budibase: Example of a business application in action

It’s also worth noting that Budibase also packages its own built-in database based on CouchDB, for those looking to build apps entirely from scratch.

“Every business we talk to says the same thing – ‘we have a big backlog of internal tools tickets that are holding us back,'” Budibase co-founder Joe Johnston told TechCrunch. “With Budibase, businesses are building internal tools and transforming workflows in days, not months, which is a huge cost-saver and a catalyst for innovation.”

Open source

One of Budibase’s key selling points is that it’s open source, which gives companies more flexibility and scalability, but also allows them to host everything themselves — this is especially important for businesses with sensitive data they might want to protect from the SaaS-y. third party infrastructures.

In addition to the free self-hosted version of Budibase, the company also offers a number of premium and business plans with additional features (such as SLAs and unlimited automation logs) and a fully managed hosted incarnation.

Budibase is somewhat similar to other players in the low-end open source development space, including the aforementioned Appsmith and Joget which, as it happens, announced its first institutional funding earlier this year via a $2.2 million pre-Series A investment. So this highlights the demand not only for no- and low-code app builders, but also the ability to maintain full control of company data and gain full insights into what’s going on under the hood.

“Businesses like this because they have access to the code base and can fix it if needed [which is useful for] risk mitigation,” Johnston said.

Automation for people

Budibase tries to stand out in a number of ways, through more subjective elements like usability, but also through specific differentiators like built-in automations comparable to something like Zapier.

Indeed, Budibase includes automations powered by webhooks and actions that are good to go out of the box, but which can also be customized by the more technical ones who want to throw their own scripts into the pot. Such automations can cover any number of use cases, such as automatically approving (or rejecting) an employee’s leave request via an internal form, or issuing a new inbound lead notification to the sales team at the start of their shift.

“We want to offer a platform that helps developers and non-developers — but technical employees — innovate and accelerate their workplace,” said Johnston.

Budibase automation in action

A quick look at Budibase’s homepage reveals a pretty impressive list of company logos, from Google and Netflix to Tesla and Disney. At first glance, it looks like these are fully registered Budibase customers, but unfortunately that’s not the case — Budibase uses a tracking tool called Scarf to track which domains are downloading the Budibase open source software. So that doesn’t tell us that much how Budibase is used in these companies, whether it’s being tested internally or it’s just curious employees downloading it for their own interests.

“Employees from some of the companies listed are active in our community,” Johnston said. “For example, Scarf told us that Google has downloaded the Budibase Docker image over 150 times.”

Budibase has raised $1.8 million in seed funding so far, and its latest $7 million “seed II” funding round included investments from SignalFire, Angular Ventures, Techstart and a number of angel backers.

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