Seattle startup AppSheet has raised $15 million to fuel growth of its platform that helps businesses develop their own data-based apps without requiring a team of developers.
Shasta Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investor New Enterprise Associates. Total funding to date is $19.3 million.
Founded in 2014, AppSheet sells software that enables nearly 6,000 customers such as Husqvarna Group, Solvay, Tigo Guatemala, American Electric Power, M&O Partners, Boom Technology, and others to build “no-code” apps. More than 200,000 apps have been deployed using AppSheet and more than 18,000 “active app creators” build apps with AppSheet each month.
Use cases include inventory management, CRM, and field service, and span across industries such as manufacturing, construction, scientific, and others. Examples of apps that AppSheet’s customers can create include those designed for requesting and tracking equipment maintenance; generating daily construction reports; or completing a pre-surgery checklist. AppSheet has been integrating artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to further speed the creation of apps.
AppSheet CEO Praveen Seshadri launched AppSheet with Brian Sabino, a former student in his database systems class at Cornell University. They had been exploring how mobile apps can make businesses more productive and discovered that companies were hungry for modestly priced custom-built apps.
AppSheet is among a number of platforms touting themselves as quick and easy app development platforms. The startup competes against products built by other Seattle-area companies such as Microsoft and K2 Software, as well as Siemens-owned Mendix, OutSystems, Betty Blocks. Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services is also working on its own no-code project, GeekWire reported earlier this year.
Asked about AppSheet’s secret sauce and differentiators, here’s what Seshadri shared with GeekWire:
We disrupt traditional business software development across three dimensions:
1. Access: Our true no-code model allows every business user to create and innovate with apps without writing any code to build them.
2. Agility: Deployment of apps from the AppSheet intelligent no-code app platform is lightweight and instant. It is an order of magnitude more agile than a low-code solution, significantly more powerful, and comes at a fraction of the cost of using mainstream programming languages that convert a desired program into a sequence of low-level instructions computer hardware can execute.
3. Ambition: The expressive power of the AppSheet intelligent no-code platform is constantly improving. Our current generation of apps includes machine learning, rich integrations, micro-services, and are not limited to mobile/web apps.
The fresh investment will be used for platform enhancements, marketing, and hiring. AppSheet plans to open a “center of machine learning excellence” in Portland, Ore. The company employs 20 people and expects headcount to grow to 50 over the next year.
“We believe AppSheet’s demonstrated success with a broad horizontal customer base is a key indicator of its expected impact,” Ravi Mohan, managing director at Shasta Ventures, said in a statement. “There is no doubt that we are at the start of a technology revolution that will allow business users to create their own software solutions, and there is no doubt that AppSheet is the market-leading platform that will drive this transformation.”
Other recent Shasta investments in Seattle-area companies include Highspot; Suplari; Skilljar; BigBox VR; Leaftail Labs; and Flyhomes. The firm is among a crop of Bay Area investors making a record number of deals in Seattle-area startups.