Below is our recent interview with Emmanuel Straschnov, the Founder of Bubble:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Bubble?
A: Bubble is a platform that enables people to build web apps without writing code. You build your product visually, UI element by UI element, and then you define what the application does by saying, for example, “when the user clicks on button ‘Pay’, charge the credit card, mark the order as paid, send an email and change the page”. You can define the user interface to the pixel and the sequence of actions action-by-action. There is no constraint, which enables you to have a very customized experience.
Most people use us to start companies, and they can do this without hiring engineers. In particular, non-technical people can use our tool to build their product without having to code. Once the product is built, we host everything on our cloud platform, so you don’t need to worry about maintaining servers, scaling your infrastructure, etc. In other words, on Bubble you focus on the product your users interact with, and we take care of the infrastructure. In terms of what you can build, Airbnb, Twitter, OkCupid are typical examples of what you can build on Bubble, without code.
Q: How exactly does it work? Is it simple to use?
A: Bubble is very open-ended. That’s one thing that makes us different from a lot of, if not all, other no-code tools: you can build your designs to the pixel, and workflows action by action. While we have templates, many users decide to start without one. This means there is a learning curve – we estimate it to a few days – but once that you’ve learned the tool, you can build exactly what you need, without the hundreds of hours it would take you to learn how to code and build a production-ready platform.It’s not as simple as a website builder, but a hundred time simpler than code and managing your infrastructure yourself.
Q: You’ve recently raised $6.25m in Seed round; could you tell us something more?
A: We’re very fortunate to have found amazing investors who believe in what we are creating and are backing our efforts with both financial capital and the kind of expertise that comes from watching hundreds of other businesses scale up before us. SignalFire is leading the $6.25M seed round along with Neo, both of which are funds that represent impressive communities of entrepreneurs. Also investing in the round are a number of individual entrepreneurs, including the artist Nas, Eric Ries and the founders of the unicorns Warby Parker, Harry’s, Allbirds, Okta, MuleSoft and Flatiron Health. This is a great combination of investors, operators, founders and thought leaders. Process-wise, we we’ve been very lucky, we started meeting investors early February, and signed a term sheet early March.
Q: Which types of businesses can use Bubble’s solution?
A: Two kind of organizations use Bubble. Entrepreneurs use Bubble to build their customer-facing products, and launch their startup for a fraction of the investment that’s usually required. They use Bubble to build and then run marketplaces, social networks, etc. Many of our users are non technical founders, and after launching on us, startups using Bubble have got into Y Combinator, raised $300m and processed over $1B of loans through a Bubble-powered platform, or bootstrapped to a $30K MRR within 6 months. Their success is what I’m the most proud of.
Another type of company uses Bubble. Non startups, small or large, from SMBs to enterprise, use us to build internal systems. For instance, a company built a custom invoicing, HR and reporting tool that would fit their need perfectly. They did this themselves on Bubble, while hiring a local development shop would have cost them more than 50,000 dollars!
Q: What can we expect from Bubble in the future?
A: We are very proud of our success so far, as a bootstrapped company. Having said that, we are far from our goal. We want Bubble to become the new standard for software development and to be able to accompany our users from proof of concept to IPO. We believe that delivering that level of service requires achieving scale as a business. We want to be able to run a massive fleet of servers, managed by a world-class operations team, that can scale with our customers from their proof-of-concept all the way to their IPO. We want a massive plugin and template ecosystem with out-of-the-box integrations for every conceivable need. We want talented designers and engineers going carefully over every inch of the Bubble editor until using it is pure joy. We want to provide 24 / 7 customer support in every major language. We want there to be a demo, class, or tutorial for every possible Bubble use case. We want Bubble team members present at every co-working space, meetup, and entrepreneurship club in the world. Here is what we hope to achieve in the middle term!