The burgeoning low-code and no-code movement shows little sign of abating, and numerous startups continue to raise significant funds to help the less-technical workforce build and deploy software with ease. Arguably one of the most notable examples of this trend is air tablea 10 year old company that recently a a whopping $11 billion valuation for a no-code platform used by companies like Netflix and Shopify to build relational databases.
At the same time, we are also seeing an increase inOpen Source Alternatives‘ to some of the big-name established tech companies, from Google’s backend-as-a-service platform Firebase Open source scheduling infrastructure that tries to oust the mighty Calendly.
A young Dutch company called back row sits at the intersection of these two trends and presents itself as an open-source airbase alternative that helps people build databases with minimal technical know-how. Today, Baserow announced that it has raised €5 million ($5.2 million) in seed funding to launch a range of new premium and enterprise products over the coming months, elevating the platform from its current database-centric foundation in to become a “completely open source, no-code toolchain,” co-founder and CEO Bram Wiepjes told TechCrunch.
construction of databases
What exactly is Baserow doing in his current form? Well, anyone with even the most rudimentary spreadsheet skills can use Baserow for use cases that involve content marketing, e.g. administration and organization of events; Supporting HR teams or startups Manage and track applicants for a new role; and countless more that Baserow offers ready-made templates for.
A specific real-world example quoted by Olivier Maes, Baserow’s co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) concerned a Regional municipality in France that tried to create a platform to help local farmers register their produce and indicate where it is sold in the region. This allowed customers to see what products were available where, and local retailers could use the same application to source specific products. An underlying database infrastructure was required to store and display all this information, and this is where Baserow came in.
“In this case, all data behind the website is managed and integrated by Baserow n8n back to the external website portals for workflow automations,” explained Maes. “This is a typical use case with multiple stakeholders who need to enter, view, and change data [and need to] do this without any technical requirements.”
The open source factor
Baserow’s open-source credentials are arguably its main selling point, with the promise of greater extensibility and customization (users can create their own plugins to enhance functionality, much like how WordPress works) – this is a particularly enticing proposition for companies with very specific or niche use cases that are not well supported by an off-the-shelf SaaS solution.
Additionally, some sectors require complete control over their data and technology stack for security or compliance purposes. This is where open source really comes into play, as companies can self-host the product and bypass vendor lock-in.
“If a company or public institution uses Baserow for collaborating on sensitive data and builds all sorts of processes around it, they don’t want to be at risk of losing that work or applications in the future,” explained Wiepies. “Offering open-source software mitigates that risk because the source code is in the hands of our users forever.”
It’s also worth noting that open source generally lowers the barrier to entry as it usually comes with a free version that anyone can deploy themselves. Usually, this requires significant technical know-how, and this is where commercial companies often monetize their product with premium features and services that make it easier and faster to use. Given this Baserow core right to exist appealing to the less tech-savvy workforce, it had to make its base product usable like a standard SaaS tool.
“Baserow can be used by anyone who needs to organize data and collaborate – we believe we will attract SMEs, public sector organizations and enterprise users,” said Maes.
With a fresh €5 million in the bank, Baserow plans to double down on its commercial efforts, starting with a Premium incarnation officially launching from an Early Access program later this month. This offering will be available as a SaaS and self-hosted product and will include various features such as: B. the ability to export to various formats; user management tools for administrators; kanban view; and more. An additional “Advanced” product will also be available exclusively for SaaS customers and will include a higher data storage limit and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Although Baserow has been operating a little under the radar since its official inception in Amsterdam last year, it claims 10,000 active users, 100 sponsors donating to the project via GitHub, and 800 users already on the waiting list for its premium version , to have.
Later this year, Baserow plans to launch a paid enterprise version for self-hosting customers with support for specific needs like audit logs, single sign-on (SSO), role-based access control, and more.
Until then, Baserow and his no-code/low-code dudes will continue touting their ability to fill the much-discussed technical talent gap by empowering everyone in an organization to create their own databases — that’s a Problem, the company affects all sizes, from small indie companies to the largest global conglomerates.
“Today there is an enormous global shortage of developers and an enormous need for applications that are tailored to the specific needs of teams in companies,” added Wiepies. “A lot of data is still captured and manipulated in Excel spreadsheets by operations teams – often severely understaffed – trying to provide insights, track progress and create dashboards.”
Baserow’s seed round was led by Amsterdam-based early-stage investor Inkef, which brought together Firstminute Capital, Seedcamp, Frontline and angel investors including Remote’s Job van der Voort and Pipedrive’s Martin Henk.