Home / Mobile / As low-code startups continue to attract VC interest, what’s driving customer demand?

As low-code startups continue to attract VC interest, what’s driving customer demand?


As low-code startups continue to attract VC interest, what’s driving customer demand? – TechCrunch

Mendix CEO Derek Roos shares his insight with The Exchange

Investor interest in no-code, low-code apps and services advanced another step this morning with Airtable raising an outsized round. The $185 million investment into the popular database-and-spreadsheet service comes as it adds “new low-code and automation features,” per our own reporting.

The round comes after we’ve seen several VCs describe no- and low-code startups as part of their core investing theses, and observed how the same investors appear to be accelerating their investing pace into upstart companies that follow the ethos.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


Undergirding much of the hype around apps that allow users to connect services, mix data sources and commit visual programming is the expectation that businesses will require more customized software than today’s developers will be able to supply. Low-code solutions could limit required developer inputs, while no-code services could obviate some need for developer time altogether. Both no- and low-code solutions could help alleviate the global developer shortage.

But underneath the view that there is a market mismatch between developer supply and demand is the anticipation that businesses will need more apps today than before, and even more in the future. This rising need for more business applications is key to today’s growing divergence between the availability and demand for software engineers.

The issue is something we explored talking with Appian, a public company that provides a low-code service that helps companies build apps.

Today we’re digging a little deeper into the topic, chatting with Mendix CEO Derek Roos. Mendix has reached nine-figure revenues with its low-code platform that helps other companies build apps, meaning that it has good perspective into what the market is actually demanding of itself and its low-code competition.

We want to learn a bit more about why business need so many apps, how COVID-19 has changed the low-code market and if Mendix is accelerating in 2020. If we can get all of that in hand, we’ll be better equipped to understand the growing no- and low-code startup realm.

A growing market

Mendix, based in Boston, raised around $38 million in known venture capital across a few rounds, including a $25 million Series B back in 2014. In 2018, Mendix partnered up with IBM to bring its service to their cloud, and later sold to Siemens for around $700 million the same year.

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Today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, leaders from three quantum computing startups joined TechCrunch editor Frederic Lardinois to discuss the future of the technology. IonQ CEO and president Peter Chapman suggested we could be as little as five years away from a desktop quantum computer, but not everyone agreed on that optimistic timeline. “I think within […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:521068,”featured_media”:2046106,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”carmot_uuid”:”82f9df8a-c39a-3178-bfaa-1e36cb99f21f”,”categories”:[24405894,449557044,449223024,20429,17396],”tags”:[855097,576771694,15328,576717957,79583,576617139],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_ec_category”:[],”tc_event”:[576703170],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/GettyImages-1205340828.jpeg”,”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/33qqbGN”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:true,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”quantum-machines”,”cb_name”:”Quantum Machines”,”cb_slug”:”quantum-machines-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/quantum-machines”,”slug”:”ionq”,”cb_name”:”IonQ”,”cb_slug”:”ionq-inc-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/ionq-inc”],”associatedEvent”:”ad”:”display”:true,”title”:”Disrupt is happening right now! It’s not too late to get in on the action!”,”override_link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2020/tickets?utm_medium=articlepromo&utm_campaign=disruptsf2020&utm_content=&utm_source=tc&promo=articlepromo&display=”,”date”:1600041600,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2020/”,”status”:”current”,”title”:”Disrupt 2020″,”termID”:576703170,”event”:1888488,”authors”:[983141],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2046011″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=2046011″],”version-history”:[“count”:9,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2046011/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:2046169,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2046011/revisions/2046169″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/guest-authors/ronjourn”],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2046011&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/521068″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/2046106″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=2046011″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=2046011″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=2046011″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=2046011″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=2046011″,”taxonomy”:”tc_ec_category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_ec_category?post=2046011″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=2046011″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:983141,”name”:”Ron Miller”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ronjourn/”,”description”:””,”slug”:”ronjourn”,”links”:”homepage”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/”,”twitter”:”http://twitter.com/ron_miller”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronsmiller”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ron-miller”,”position”:”Contributor”,”cbDescription”:”

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2020″,”slug”:”disrupt-sf-2020″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/576703170″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/tc_event”],”up”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/579419″],”wp:post_type”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tc_event=576703170″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_events?tc_event=576703170″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tc_event=576703170″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true]]]}},{“id”:2038231,”date”:”2020-09-14T12:02:00″,”date_gmt”:”2020-09-14T19:02:00″,”guid”:”rendered”:”https://techcrunch.com/?p=2038231″,”modified”:”2020-09-14T12:02:00″,”modified_gmt”:”2020-09-14T19:02:00″,”slug”:”how-to-hire-your-first-engineer-a-guide-for-nontechnical-founders”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/14/how-to-hire-your-first-engineer-a-guide-for-nontechnical-founders/”,”title”:”rendered”:”How to hire your first engineer: A guide for nontechnical founders”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

For founders who have a startup idea u2014 but few engineering skills to make it a reality u2014 making the team’s first technical hire can be a daunting task.n

Nontechnical founders will face greater challenges when it comes to sourcing and recruiting engineering talent, but another factor that raises the stakes: They must often act quickly to find someone who could very well end up with co-founder status.n

We interviewed a handful of startup founders and technical leaders to get their thoughts about how nontechnical founders should approach the hiring process for engineer no. 1.n

Their advice spanned how to handle technical interviews, sourcing technical talent, how to decide whether your first engineering hire should become CTO u2014 and how to best kick the can down the road if you’re not ready to start worrying about bringing on an engineer quite yet. Everyone I spoke to was quick to caution that their tips weren’t one-size-fits-all and that overcoming limited knowledge often comes down to tapping the right people to help you out and lend a greater understanding of your options.n

I’ve broken down these tips into a digestible guide that’s focused on four areas:n

    n

  • Sourcing technical candidates.n
  • How to conduct interviews.n
  • Making an offer.n
  • Taking a nontraditional route.nn

    n

    Sourcing technical candidatesn

    Knowing what you’re looking for obviously depends a good deal on what you need. Founders have more flexibility if they’re just aiming to get engineers on board so they can get an MVP out the door, but technical expertise is only part of the equation if you’re aiming to hire for someone that may end up being a co-founder or CTO.



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