Low-code development platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years as they offer a promising solution to the long and tedious process of creating apps. According to data from analytics firm GlobalData, there has been a remarkable fivefold increase in venture capital funding into low-code dev platforms between 2021 and 2022.
However, there has been a slight decrease in demand as the focus shifts towards AI, specifically generative AI. Despite this, low-code development shows no signs of fading away, as demonstrated by the recent funding round of low-code startup, FlutterFlow.
FlutterFlow, which aims to simplify mobile app development through its low-code platform, has just announced the closure of a $25.5 million Series A funding. The round was led by GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused venture fund), Xoogler Ventures, and Y Combinator, among others. A trusted source familiar with the matter shared with TechCrunch that this round puts FlutterFlow’s valuation at approximately $170 million. With this funding, FlutterFlow has now raised a total of $30 million which will be used towards expanding its enterprise efforts and significantly increasing its investment in AI, as confirmed by CEO and co-founder Abel Mengistu.
“If you look at how many people have come online primarily through mobile devices over the last 10 years, it’s a staggering number. But … even for large successful companies with billions of dollars in annual revenue, delivering high-quality digital experiences is the exception, not the norm. That’s ultimately the problem FlutterFlow aims to solve.”
Mengistu, who co-founded FlutterFlow with Alex Greaves in 2020, first met his partner while working at Google on the Maps team. The two became friends and later founded FlutterFlow as their second startup, after their first venture, a restaurant recommendation app, failed due to the pandemic.
“We weren’t making progress on our first startup and had to shut it down less than a year into it. Upon reflection, we realized we spent too much time trying to build a seemingly simple app on top of complex backend systems. That’s when Alex and I decided to focus on making app development easier,” said Mengistu.
FlutterFlow provides low-code tools specifically designed to simplify the development of apps for iOS, Android, and desktop operating systems such as Windows and macOS. Using Flutter, Google’s open-source UI creation toolkit, FlutterFlow generates clean and maintainable source code for apps.
Although there are numerous competitors in the market for low-code app development platforms such as Appsmith and Builder.ai, Mengistu insists that FlutterFlow is differentiated by its emphasis on an open development approach, where customers can deploy their apps without any dependency on the platform. Additionally, FlutterFlow offers a fully centralized governance pipeline. In line with current trends, FlutterFlow has also fully embraced GenAI and has recently launched an AI-powered code assistant that can generate code based on a description of the desired functionality, for example, “find the distance between two points.”
“FlutterFlow enables organizations to establish their core building blocks such as design systems and components, which can be inherited and utilized across different projects. While vendor lock-in may be a lucrative strategy for the short term, our focus is on providing long-term value to our customers.”
FlutterFlow’s strategy seems to be paying off as the company claims to have 10,000 self-service paying customers, approximately 1 million users, and a few enterprise customers (the exact number remains undisclosed). Abel also stated that FlutterFlow’s expenses are minimal, and with the current funding, the company has a runway of several years even with increased spending.
“FlutterFlow is a powerful tool that enables customers to accelerate timelines and increase productivity. Therefore, in times of adversity, we see an opportunity as decision-makers are looking for ways to execute ambitious product roadmaps while facing financial constraints,” Mengistu added.