$10.5mn Funding Raised in Seed and Series A: Where Do We Go Next?

Posted by Abhishek NayakPublished on Oct 06, 2021
6 min read
SEO | $10.5mn Funding Raised in Seed and Series A: How We Got Here and Where We Want to Go

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.

The Appsmith Journey Thus Far

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 daily, 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, internal tools are critical to the success of every business. Nikhil, Arpit, and I feel strongly about the state of internal tools and believe 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, and preempting our users' needs. 

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. 

What Will We Do Next 

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:

  • Improving the quality and complexity of the frontend that can be built using Appsmith. 

  • Creating better coding and data integration experiences for our users. 

  • Putting more effort into integrating Appsmith in the software development cycles of engineering teams. 

  • Developing and shipping features specific to larger teams, such as SSO, audit logs, granular role-based access control, etc. 

  • Creating an excellent repository of learning resources and material like tutorials, guides, and templates so that users can learn how to use Appsmith faster. 

We are fully prepared to fulfill our promises, and I know that our stellar team has already started work! 

Welcoming our Investors 

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.

By the community, for the community 

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.