Before building the Noida-based enterprise tech business-to-business (B2B) startup, Vishal Sahu, a BTech graduate, has already founded three startups.
On his fourth project, the no-code web application development platform DrapCode, which is part of the Your storyOn Tech50’s 2021 list of the most promising startups, he says, âThe next decade would be in the no-code solutions space. This is already a buzzword and we are closing this gap. “
But how did it all start?
âI founded my first company, NexThoughts Software, in 2013. The service company is still running and there are 30 people working on different projects. After building many custom web applications for two to three years, I realized that there are a lot of repetitive tasks. For example, you would set up a Facebook login for a person and build it again after two months, and the cycle would continue, ârecalls Vishal.
In 2016, Vishal set up FintechLabs, a no-code platform specifically for the credit industry. âSo here we built a lot of parts for the credit industry where everyone could come, configure these parts according to their needs and bring a full-fledged digital landing platform onto the market. I successfully ran this company for nearly three and a half years as I went from a one-person team to a 35-person team for half a million in sales. In 2019 it was taken over by Perfios from Bengaluru, âsays Vishal.
The main takeaway for Vishal while his team was rebuilding applications was that it a need for no-code solutions. Since a lot of people don’t know anything about coding or programming, the key idea was that they should still be able to create applications.
âSince I had already built something for the credit industry, it was more of a natural development where I wanted to build something much more general for myself. Whether you want to start a marketplace or an onboarding portal, DrapCode can make all of this possible for you, âsays Vishal, who takes us back through his journey.
It helped that Vishal has a technical background and the fact that he had worked for the past seven to eight years worked to his advantage. The successful exit from his previous company gave him the opportunity to use his time and experience to build a longer-term platform like DrapCode.
Solve time and cost constraints
Problem solving and good feedback are vital. Vishal recalls a recent conversation with an Indian MNC, one of the top 100 Indian companies. You have an in-house development team and want to set up a portal that can manage the vehicles entering and exiting. From now on, the company manages with a physical register in which the vehicle log is kept manually.
âYou hired two developers who took four months to develop the application. I asked her how long that would take. They said that four developers and one project manager, with outside help with design and testing, would work for four months to get this done. According to the record, you can actually do it in a week. You can imagine the difference in terms of time and cost, âexplains Vishal.
Therewith, DrapCode runs according to the motto “10 times faster, 10 times cheaper”.
Coding without coding
DrapCode, registered under LCNC Technologies Pvt Ltd., helps companies design, build, and launch custom web applications without writing a single line of code.
In addition to providing a drag-and-drop user interface for creating and launching custom web apps in its infrastructure, DrapCode also offers its users the ability to fully export their web apps (backend + frontend + database) and in their public / private Host cloud infrastructure and have better control if necessary.
DrapCode is a no-code, low-code development platform for web apps. Its drag-and-drop interface allows one to create powerful web applications without coding.
Users can use DrapCode’s user-friendly builder, which has features such as pre-built UI components, ready-to-use templates, custom databases, custom code, automated workflows, notifications, etc. In addition, users can also use various third-party services such as Airtable, Zapier, Integromat, Google Sheet, Integrate social media, analytics etc. into your web apps.
Illustration of the rating
The startup is currently valued at $ 1 million and has approximately 1500 customers – all in the free tier – which allows users to try the product for a few months before purchasing. The current user base has built more than 1000 web apps using DrapCode.
In terms of revenue, DrapCode generates its revenue primarily through freemium and subscription channels with a revenue plate of less than Rs 5 lakh per month.
There are over 10 paying customers who are part of contracts that have either been signed or are still in the negotiation phase.
Bridging the confidence gap
âThe biggest challenge is the lack of education. Since website builders have been around for 20 years, people sometimes find it hard to believe that something like this is possible. Even if you give them a demo, they’ll find it hard to digest. Once they see the work they are convinced, but getting it to a demo is a challenge. This lack of trust has been our biggest challenge so far, âsays Vishal.
Vishal says there is good competition but it is segmented. There are big companies like OutSystems, Uncork, HCL that have launched a no-code platform, but these are all targeting Fortune 500 companies because of their high prices. Then there are small businesses using the DIY model, but Vishal says there isn’t a lot of competition in the Indian scenario. âSo our sweet spots are companies that are not individuals, maybe companies with sales of 1-2 billion rupees to 500 billion rupees that don’t use established corporate systems like SAP or Salesforce. Companies that want to digitize systems but cannot afford bigshots like OutSystems or Uncork.
The future of the no-code industry
The startup aims to achieve $ 100 million in ARR over the long term. It’s also open to strategic investment for more expansion, a larger user base, and expanding its team to reach a larger audience.
The no-code industry is expected to reach $ 65 billion in another five years; It’s currently $ 13 billion, Vishal points out. âAn amount like $ 100 million ARR is definitely something that can be achieved. In fact, in the next four to five years there will be many people and companies who will first consider using something ready-made instead of building something from scratch. Whether you need a CRM, email, or e-commerce platform, you wouldn’t be building it yourself, unlike it was four or five years ago when people used to build it all. Now we have Shopify, Salesforce, SAP, and people know these types of systems can be bought. You don’t have to build it, you can buy it, âhe explains.