TL;DR: We just raised $41m in our Series B, led by new investor Insight Partners, alongside Canaan Partners, Accel, and angel investors.
Frontend and backend development for simple applications have become incredibly complicated. It feels like we are building the same things repeatedly but just using different programming languages. The world has about 20 million software developers; most have spent hours building admin panels, forms-based workflows, dashboards, or some version of a CRUD app. That's billions of hours spent building internal apps and doing a lot of repetitive and mundane work.
My co-founders, Arpit and Nikhil, had spent many years building CRUD apps and were tired of dealing with the same problem at every company. There had to be a better way to build these apps. We decided to release an MVP to a small community that embraced Appsmith with wide-open arms.
We started Appsmith with a simple goal: To help engineers build the best apps they can to help their teams while avoiding repetition and monotony.
I am happy to announce that we've raised our Series B to deepen our commitment to that goal.
The lead investor for Appsmith's Series B is Insight Partners, joined by existing investors Canaan Partners, Accel India, and angel investors like Abhinav Asthana (Co-founder, Postman) and Jeff Hammerbacher (Co-founder, Cloudera). Our goal was to bring investors that understood the technology landscape well and were impressed with Insight's track record of backing companies like Docker, Postman, and JFrog, many of which are also open source. As we spent more time with the Insight team, we realized they would be the right partners for us as we scale to the next level.
And of course, a big mention to our users and community. We're only here because you decided to take your valuable time in using, giving feedback, and contributing to the core product.
Today, Appsmith is a robust open-source, low-code platform for building, shipping, and maintaining internal tools. Users can connect to any datasource, create UI with pre-built widgets, and deploy business-critical applications.
You can see it in action:
Our focus last year was on improving the quality and complexity of the frontend that can be built using Appsmith, a couple of examples of which is our latest theming feature or our in-built JS editor is an excellent way to code. These are a few among the 150+ features and enhancements we shipped in 2021.
Over 100,000s developers have used Appsmith for personal and professional projects so far. We see over 7,000 active teams daily relying on apps built quickly on Appsmith. We developed a 3000-member strong Discord community and helped our users build over 100,000 apps. From providing rich support to writing detailed tutorials to contribute valuable integrations, our community and team are the heart and soul of Appsmith. We have loudly and proudly built Appsmith in public and honestly believe transparency and community involvement help us in the short and long term.
Now, it's time we make it happen for dynamic apps starting with internal apps as our focus.
With this round of funding, Appsmith will build on the progress from 2021.
Here's a five-point plan for the coming year:
As I mentioned before, this accomplishment wouldn't have been possible without the love, care and support from our team, community, families, and friends.
I want to thank you all again for your continuous support and assure you we don't take it for granted.
Appsmith launched a year ago, and since then, we’ve seen tens of thousands of engineers make Appsmith a part of their internal tooling tech stack. We’ve seen a lot of community contributions that have made Appsmith better for everyone.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve raised $10.5mn across two rounds of funding from Accel, Canaan Partners, Bessemer, and others.
We couldn’t have done this without the love from our users and support from the community. We aim to use this capital and make Appsmith the best choice for every internal software project.
Appsmith, as an idea and subsequently as a product, came out of a series of interlinked personal experiences. A few years ago, when I was building Mob Show, a mobile game, all I wanted was for our daily active players to increase. In two months, we went from zero to five thousand, and we were doing everything we could to double that number. We wanted growth. Sure enough, we went from 5000 to 120000 DAUs within a week! We should have been thrilled, but we felt overwhelmed and exhausted. Why? Because unprecedented growth comes with unprecedented challenges. Scaling at such a breakneck speed amplified the number of bugs and problems in the game. Customer support requirements grew by 30x, while our team size remained the same. This growth was hell. We found ourselves scrambling to build internal tools that would help us make sense of this growth.
I’ve seen this before when I was running Gharpay, a hyperlocal e-commerce company, where we relied on at least ten complex internal tools. These included backend tools for delivery personnel to manage and track their orders, tools for the accounting team to manage reconciliation on a daily basis, and of course, customer support tools to ensure speedy resolution of service requests. In fact, Appsmith’s co-founder, Arpit (who was also Gharpay’s CTO) was responsible for building and maintaining these apps.
My co-founder, Nikhil, has also experienced the side of growth that is not pretty. Things go wrong wherever they can. And things will go wrong. As the head of product at Eat.fit, Nikhil saw orders scale from 50 a day to 50,000 a day in a short period. Customers began to have negative experiences; orders would go missing, delivery partners couldn’t find addresses, and there were payment issues. If these experiences are anything to go by, it’s that internal tools are critical to the success of every business. Nikhil, Arpit, and I feel strongly about the state of internal tools and believe that they are the backbone of any company’s success - old or new.
So if Nikhil, Arpit, and I were getting together to create something together, both logic and intuition have led us to the Appsmith journey. We started Appsmith with a simple goal: To help engineers build the best apps they can to help their teams while avoiding repetition and monotony. Frontend and backend development for simple applications have become incredibly complicated. It feels like we are building the same things repeatedly but just using different programming languages.
Appsmith is an open-source low code framework to help developers avoid repetitive work like modifying UI components, writing integrations, creating a login page, etc., and building beautiful internal apps. We have worked hard to create a product that developers use at Swiggy, Dunzo, WazirX, and thousands of other beloved companies. This has also meant that developers, HR, Operations, Finance, Admin, Customer Success, and Management teams have saved thousands of hours and boosted their productivity with Appsmith!
Over the past 12 months, we have kept a razor-sharp focus on helping companies develop custom software that talks to different data sources. And each new day has been spent refining the product, building community feature requests, preempting the needs of our users.
Since our launch, we’ve shipped:
35 UI widgets • 15 data integrations • JS editor • Debugger • Real-time commenting • A 2 min docker container setup
We’re gunning for more; brace yourselves! The Appsmith team and their speed of shipping genuinely amaze me.
We’ll be shipping much-awaited features like white-labeled apps, custom widgets, mobile responsive apps, collaborative real-time editing, integration with multiple SSO providers, custom authentication, audit logs, and server-side JS execution in the next few months. We will also be improving front-end customization while ensuring snappy performance. So we will be building a lot of new widgets, adding more integrations, introducing dynamic height components, custom theming, and supporting custom CSS.
Overall, we will be focussing on five areas:
We are fully prepared to fulfill our promises, and I know that our stellar team has already started work!
We’re thrilled to have the best minds in the industry backing us. Accel led the seed round. Canaan Partners led the Series A round with Accel, Bessemer, OSS capital, and Prasanna Sankar, CTO of Rippling.
Appsmith is a community product. Open source creates public goods that benefit a lot more people than proprietary products. I believe that low-code, combined with the power of open-source, is the way to empower businesses large and small.
Before Appsmith, there was no open-source project that could build such custom internal tools and admin panels. There are many low code products, but we saw that no competitor was willing to reveal the source code, enabling engineers to contribute changes. I think buying proprietary software is like buying a car without an option to fix it. Open-source helps you make small improvements and changes to the software. We also saw that our competitors would only work with companies with large budgets and ignore the experiences of small teams or individual developers.
One of Appsmith’s users told me that volunteers use it in France to help new immigrants avail of government services and enable them to navigate their new life. Appsmith is a forever free open source project that has helped developers build for food banks, non-profits organizations, schools, universities, and government agencies. It’s immensely satisfying to support such users.
Before I end, I would like to take a moment to thank the entire team for building such a fantastic project in a very short time.
Without you, there is no Appsmith.
Coming to this point was a lot of fun, and in many ways, it’s the first step towards a long road. We expect it to be rocky, but it will be fun as heck.