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No-Code Industry In Numbers

Everything you need to know about no-code tools & platforms

No-code Industry Growth
No-code Tools
Can you build a business based purely on no-code?
Practical Benefits of no-code

No-code Industry Growth

The no-code industry is growing extremely fast.
Dozens of no-code tools appear every month, venture funds invest millions of dollars into new players and the media keeps covering hot news about the no-code movement.

While working in the design & development space since 2015 and joining a fast-growth no-code startup, I saw the evolution of both spaces. When leading my startup, Flawless App, I witnessed how developers and design tooling took a strong place in the product teams workflow, both in small teams and large enterprises. Back then design tools like Figma raised $200 million and development tools like BuddyBuild was acquired by Apple. After closing my own M&A deal with Flawless and joining a $54M funded design startup (Abstract), I was still impressed how big the creative market was.

  • Now, I’m leading marketing at WeLoveNoCode, a no-code developers marketplace, which is growing 30% MoM in MRR. And I have a strong feeling of dejavu. Like 6 years ago creative tooling was taking off the ground, now no-code is moving in the same trajectory. This is an industry you should definitely follow.

I’ve split my research into a few easy to digest sections, covering everything from the market size, funding landscape, no-code use cases. As well as some interesting insight from WeLoveNoCode, as our no-code developers already built more than 2000 no-code projects for clients and worked with 241 tools. Let’s dive in!
Market Growth

No-code/low-code platforms have been around for a while. Popular website builders, like Wix and Weebly, started in 2006, online-database databases Airtable and visual programming platform Bubble in 2012. So this industry was emerging even before “no-code” became a trendy term with rapid interest from the masses.
However, assessing the size of a diverse market like no-code is difficult. The main reason is that its a new emerging space, where every estimation is more or less a smart guess. Also, different research firms use their own methods for measuring and assessing the dollar value of the no-code industry.

Some will look at the asset value of the companies involved, others will use the revenue projections of the businesses. In some cases it’s the amount spent on no-code by businesses that is used to calculate the market value.

Anyway, by looking at the various places reporting data, I can pull together estimates for the no-code industry growth. It’s surprisingly similar across the next few years. Among 4 different researches, the range of sizes for the low code & no-code in 2020-2021 runs from $12.8 Billion up to a maximum of $13.8 Billion, a fairly tight set of data. Take a look:
When I begin to analyze the data, the projections start to vary, but with some key patterns. Within 4 years, the low code and no-code market will more than triple in size to over $45 Billion and by 2027 the market could reach between $65 and $127 Billion. This sounds as an exciting tipping point to start working on this market:
No-code Funding landscape

An interesting look on the industry comes from the venture deals in the space. Crunchbase can provide us with some insightful information on the amount being raised by popular no-code platforms. Those rounds are pretty impressive showing the strong investors interest in the no-code space:

  • Airtable raised $270M in 2021.
Airtable is a user-friendly platform for creating and sharing relational databases. They are one of the biggest players in no-code who have had a total of $617.6M in funding, with a current valuation of $5.2Bn.

  • Coda is a document collaboration platform that brings data and teams together. In June 2021 they went through a series D round of funding, bringing their total funding to $240M.

  • Webflow, a leader in no-code website development has recently announced a series B round of $140M, giving it a $2Bn valuation, with total funding of $214.9M.

  • Bubble raised $100M. It is a no-code app building platform used to build software and applications like SaaS platforms and marketplaces. One of the best known names in the no-code industry, in June of 2021 they announced a series A funding round of $100M, having previously taken on just a $6.3M seed round in 2019.

  • No-code platform Betty Blocks raises $33 Million (August 2021) to speed up application development by empowering business developers (citizen developers) within enterprises.

  • Zapier is an integration platform and this year has made one of the first big consolidations of the no-code market by acquiring Makerpad, a website that teaches others how to build tools without code.

At the same time, there are a lot of small players who run no-code tools in a boostrapped manner. In a census, the no-code community reported the type of funding that their companies had received. An interesting highlight was that although there are some massive no-code businesses, right now the majority of the sector is bootstrapping, as the team at Bubble did for the first seven years:

  • 76% reported the business to be bootstrapped with no funding
  • 12% less than $5M
  • 4% between $6M and $50M
  • 8% with more than $50M

The same census reported that the average company size has just 4 employees, supporting how many were from startups (30%).

No-code Tools

How many no-code tools & platforms exist?
My team at WeLoveNoCode works with 271 no-code tools and we keep adding new platforms almost every week. Whenever you browse Product Hunt, you will find around 293 projects within the no-code category and on G2 there are 214 companies listed in the no-code space. Probably, the total number of low code & no-code platforms in 2021 is close to 300. Let’s talk about the most prominent players.

Some time ago our team made no-code Tools List, a comprehensive collection of no-code tools and platforms which we work with. Based on our segmentation, most of no-code tools fall in one of the following categories:

  • Website builders
  • Applications builders
  • no-code APIs
  • Collaboration tools
  • Design & Prototyping tools
  • Automations
  • Databases
Let’s briefly cover the most interesting no-code tools in the space and the full list you can get
Website builders

You can build fully functional websites with no-code tools and customize them to do anything from marketplaces to portfolios and e-commerce websites. The main players in the area are:

  • Webflow - allows users to build responsive websites with visual editing software. The drag-and-drop tool automatically generates HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Tilda - a website builder for creating all kinds of websites using block mechanics, just choose predesigned blocks and edit them to what you want.

  • Carrd - a one-page website builder, it is optimized to build things like landing pages, forms, and portfolio websites.

  • Squarespace - a tool to build static websites, that also offers built-in marketing and e-commerce features.
Application Builders

You can build iOS and Android apps and launch them in the App Store and Google Playstore. With no-code tools like Glide, you can create an app with simple spreadsheets which act as the database. A lot of no-code development tools also let you integrate with existing APIs and customize specific components of your app. The main players in the area are:

  • Adalo - a browser-based platform that provides you with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to build native mobile applications for Android and iOS, including control over the design and functionality of your app.
  • Glide App - a tool that lets you build mobile applications from spreadsheets using templates from the Glide gallery or a google spreadsheet.
Collaboration tools

The main players in the area are:

  • Miro - a visual collaboration platform that utilises a whiteboard canvas that you can fill with sticky notes, mindmaps, workflow designs, notes, and images.



  • Mural - a visual collaboration tool that provides you with a digital canvas that allows you to use it to organize your ideas, flowcharts, framework, and diagrams.
Database tools

  • Airtable - a database collaboration tool that allows you to use database blocks as components of your app.

  • Bubble - the platform allows you to build web applications using their visual editor by dragging and dropping visual elements onto the canvas.
Design & Prototyping tools

The main players in the area are:

  • InVision - a prototyping tool that lets you create interactive mockups for your design that you can then share with team members or a client.

  • Marvel App - a tool that lets you design mockups, prototypes, and wireframes for apps, landing pages, and more, as well as test design with users.

  • Figma - a design graphics and user interface design tool used for designing mobile app interfaces, wireframing websites, creating social media posts, animations, and prototypes.
Automation tools

  • Zapier - helps you automate tasks between two apps without coding. For example, Zapier can tell one app to do something when an event occurs on another app. It does this when you create “Zaps,” which consist of a trigger and an action.
Marketing no-code tools

  • Jotform - survey tool that has transformed the typical, boring standard forms into an engaging experience. It has plenty of integration options to connect with other tools and platforms.

  • Typeform - used for creating people-friendly forms and surveys. For a marketer, Typeform is a great tool to increase engagement rates by building interactive surveys, quizzes, polls, and even capture leads. More complex features are available, such as conditional logic, which shows questions dependent on respondents’ responses.

  • Convertkit - email marketing systems with visual automation workflow builder that allows the user to sequence emails based on certain triggers and user behavior. The easy to use trigger-based sequencing and neat automation suite, make it a great choice for email marketing campaigns.

  • Klaviyo - made specifically for e-commerce marketers, helping them personalize, target, optimize, and oversee email and social media marketing campaigns. Klaviyo has extremely powerful analytics that helps you predict the customer’s interactions and behaviors.

  • Mailchimp is a popular email marketing tool. However, you can do so much more with this tool. Mailchimp offers an all-in-one marketing solution that includes building landing pages and simple websites with its no-code technology.
Low-Coding Platforms For Collecting Payments

  • Buy Me A Coffee: is a platform that connects producers directly to fans. They offer an instant payout, allow annual & monthly subscriptions and accept multiple forms of mobile payments as well as the purchase of "extras", provide analytics, and take out a flat 5% fee. Installation is code-free.

I mentioned only a portion of great no-code tools, you can find many more platforms in this detailed no-code tools overview.

Can you build a business based purely on no-code?

As we see, no-code platforms are building successful businesses, but can real companies be built using these tools? To show how they can, let’s look at some examples: WeLoveNoCode, Comet, Plato, Lambda School and Qoins.
WeLoveNoCode

...
Comet

A marketplace for data and tech freelancers to connect with potential clients who need engineers for their projects. It was built with Bubble. In less than 3 years they have helped more than 1,000 clients and have 1,500 freelancers on their books. Comet’s turnover is now at $800k a month and in 2018 they raised $12.8M.
Plato

Engineers and mentors of the world's biggest companies meet on Plato. They match applicants with mentors who are experienced in their fields. Plato actually raised its funding by building an MVP on Bubble and its back office is built on it now. They have already raised $13 million funding from Y Combinator. In 2020 alone they hosted over 20,000 mentorship sessions.
Lambda School

Lambda School is an online coding course provider that claims to be close to a fully fledged university program. The true uniqueness is how people pay for the course because you don’t pay a tuition fee upfront. In fact, people only get charged when they get a new job and pay a percentage of their salary until the fees are paid.

They created the platform with a combination of different tools like Typeform, Airtable, and Retool. They currently have over 150 employees, have raised over $70M and are believed to be worth over $150M.
Qoins

Qoins is an app-based financial platform that helps people pay off their debt more easily and efficiently through automated, personalized ways, including features like payroll deductions. You might buy an ice cream that’s $1.75 but the app takes $2.00 and uses the $0.25 towards paying your debts. Over $12M of debt has been repaid through the app. They built their app on Bubble and continued to use it as they grew and have raised $750M.

Practical Benefits of no-code

No-code is the art of creating solutions (native apps, websites, web apps, integrations), which is made using visual methods (without coding). no-code is a new way of building products, very different products. It's not magic but it has very practical benefits for business owners, startup founders, product managers, designers, developers and SMBs. Let’s talk about some of the practical benefits of no-code.

Most no-code tools use a visual drag-and-drop interface. In addition, a lot of them have pre-built templates that you can customize.

Bringing MVP to market faster

No-code development tools are simple to use, fast, cheap, and effective in building MVPs for startups and makers. This is a massive advantage as you can build an MVP to test the viability of your idea quicker, get feedback from customers and iterate without a huge upfront cost. The main goal of the minimum viable product is to deliver the core value to the right users and see their reactions. I won’t focus on the MVP creation here but you can get a nice overview of the steps needed to create MVP in this guide.

If the response to your MVP is positive, you can go ahead and make a more complicated and sophisticated product. If the response is negative, you can define key problems and pivot.

Examples of MVPs built with no-code stack could be:

  • Minimum version of a consultation service: form collecting leads with scheduling appointment widgets. Take a look at Jotform widget, which you can set up together with a form in less than 30 minutes. If you want to start your PR agency, marketing consultation or branding team, you can start generating sales calls with a simple form right from your network.

  • Minimum version of SaaS product on the pre launch stage: could be ​​audience building MVP. You create a landing page with Tilda or Webflow and add Mailchimp integration to collect email addresses. With Betalist launch or sharing your landing over target communities, you can get the first signs of user interest. For more marketing tactics on getting first users for your startup you check my ebook here.

  • Email Campaign MVP, which can be done by creating simple email in SendInBlue, integrating it with Hubspot. This type of testing is the best for checking value proposing for new products among the cuccent user base and requires minimum setup. While it doesn’t sound as fun as building the functional MVP, it answers the main question of user interest based on the metrics of open rate, click rate and replies.

  • Pre-order MVP can be done with a single Gumroad page. This is a perfect solution for makers working in the creator economy. If your MVP is a book, learning courses, design project, then setting up a description and payment page over Gumroad is something you can do in under one day. Gumroad allows you to get payments for pre-order making the life of founders much easier. And it’s all done without any code.

  • Single-feature MVP: if you have an idea of a marketplace, you can build it with tools like Softr and launch it on Product Hunt. As the first “service providers” for your marketplace you can use your own team or hired experts, so “buyers” will be able to solve their problems (and you test your business idea). Don’t forget to add only must have capabilities even in a single-feature MVP (MoSCoW Matrix can help here).

The MVP approach helps to reduce the risk of product failure, costs of development and time to market. Combined with the MVP no-code tech stack it’s become the founders’ superpower in defining whether the product is needed by users at all. Also, no-code made life of product managers much easier because it significantly decreased the resources needed to push the first product version to users (now PMs can build MVPs themselves or with a team of one no-code developer).
Faster Development of the Core Product

The number one reason the community loves no-code is the speed at which no-code can produce results. According to Forrester, development using low code and no-code platforms is 10 times faster than traditional methods. Speeding up your development brings so many advantages from getting more revenue from released products to needing fewer developers to achieve your roadmap.

Why is no-code development faster? Most no-code tools have an intuitive drag-drop interface, visual modeling, reusable pre-built components, out-of-the-box & ready-made features and simple integration with all kinds of web services. On top of that no-code tools propose created blocks, templates, widgets for typical business cases. All these makes product development faster, especially for well-known product types (apps, landing pages, marketplaces).

A study by GoodFirms Research showed over 60% of software development takes 4-6 months to complete using traditional custom development. While most no-code projects are completed in less than half of that time, for MVP creation the average time is 4-5 weeks (based on WeLoveNoCode data).
Cost Saving

Another advantage is the cost savings, which comes from having fewer developers. The general cost of no-code developers is lower and they can cover design and development at the same time. According to Forrester, the average company avoided hiring two traditional developers using low code tools.

According to another research, 41% of respondents believe that no-code tools are 6 times more affordable than using traditional development methods. From WeLoveNoCode data, average development cost is $4000 per project, delivered in one month which is 10x time cheaper than working with a US development agency. So if your main criteria for a project is cost, no-code is definitely an option to consider. It brings saved development time, lower day rates and utilising existing staff who can work with no-code tools.

Also, no-code platforms are great for the Do It Yourself approach, when even not-tech savvy founders can create their products. Almost every no-code tool provides some type of learning materials and guides, which decreases the learning curve.
Support from the community

The no-code industry is very community driven. That proves active forums, where community members help each other (take a look on the Bubble forum), dozens of no-code templates () and excellent learning materials created by Makerpad members. All these makes no-code space welcoming for new comers, simple to find needed technical support for those who are building with no-code and fast-to-start for those who can use templates.

I think it's a huge benefit of the no-code space because it makes the industry open and self-driven in terms of its development.
Filling a Skills Gap
According to a survey by Appypie, the key reasons for choosing no-code are reducing IT backlog (55%) and dependency on hard-to-hire skills (38%).

As the data above shows, another benefit of no-code is filling the skills gap. Developers have become like unicorns in the last few years. Sometimes the skills needed for traditional development projects are hard to find and no-code platforms help get around that issue. Evidence from Mendix shows 70% of low-code users who had no tech experience at all learned low code in 1 month or less. This creates a huge workforce to fulfill the need for product development. With the growing supply of no-code developers, the hiring process becomes easier and product companies are getting an alternative option to hiring $9K/month traditional developers. WeLoveNoCode has a pool of 10 000 skilled no-code developers, who can cover various development tasks for thousands of businesses.
Time saved for your developer

It’s fair to say that developers like spending most of their time solving problems, not doing repetitive tasks. While some of the tech projects might be exactly like that (especially for the marketing department). With no-code tools and platforms, so much of this can be automated, taking these tasks away from the developer. Less repetitive tasks improve developers productivity and make your engineering team happier. In the nearest future no-code skills will become an additional tool set for traditional developers, who anyway can benefit from no-code right now.
No-code tools promote experimentation

No-code helps deliver products faster, which leaves more time to iterate and experiment by tring different ideas. When you can develop and roll out a new feature in a matter of days or weeks, not months, it is possible to spend more time testing. And the price of failure is significantly decreased, making it mentaly easier to fail and try over.

You can go a step further and extend your no-code product’s functionality with custom code, 3rd party app APIs, external databases.
No-code gives marketing teams more freedom

The marketing team drives users and revenue growth in every company. This team works under the constants pressure to deliver more, faster. To do that marketing should be supported by other coworkers — designers and developers, as well as have a strong MarTech stack in place. The tech and design teams are the ones, who have the capability to build websites, apps, analyze big data, create automations, set up marketing attribution, install analytic tools. All of which are extremely important for a marketer.

Now, imagine some of this power shifting into the hands of the marketer without the need to write a single line of code or ask the tech team for support (or learn it on your own). That is exactly what “no-code” tools are doing to empower a marketing function. With no-code tools marketing teams can build growth projects faster, create powerful integration to drive leads and boost growth hacking to the new level.

User research is the first and the most important step in product development. This is the stage where entrepreneurs ask questions, identify problems, and spark ideas for solutions. There are no-code tools that can help you create design processes for idea generation. We will cover a few of them: Miro and Mural.

Example no-code Cases

Bloomberg has reported a number of success stories highlighting how no-code has helped deliver lots of quick development and make quick returns on investment.
  • Over 20 months, Schneider Electric launched 60 apps, most being delivered in 10 weeks
  • Ricoh replaced legacy systems with a low code platform, helping them achieve a 253% ROI and a payback within 7 months.
  • Thinkmoney delivered a modern mobile digital banking experience in just 14 weeks.

Looking across other no-code platforms you can find a lot of powerful use cases with a variety of different types of businesses:

  • Centra has used the no-code platform Flowfinity to reduce the time needed for job costing from 3 months to immediate.
  • Bendigo Bank worked with xplenty’s no-code solution to produce 25 customer-centred apps in 1.5 years, taking far less time and cost than if they used traditional app development.
  • Through the use of the no-code platform DronaHQ, Katak have been able to build a customised app that was live within 6 weeks. Within a month, it has achieved 80% adoption, improving sales efficiency resulting in upsells and cross-sells, all decreasing cost per acquisition.

What all these statistics show us is how fast the no-code industry is changing. The growth of the market is outstripping most other sectors and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact it’s gathering pace. In the years ahead we can expect to see more and more data showing the growth of no-code businesses.

The benefits of no-code have been consistent for a number of years now, with different studies providing data to support these benefits. It’s ability to speed up development, getting to market a lot faster, how it is more cost effective and helping combat the lack of development skills.
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