Blockchain Council presents its latest initiative, Project of the Month! Project of the Month is an initiative that recognizes and highlights outstanding projects and initiatives from various fields and industries. Each month, a project is selected based on its innovation, impact, and contribution to the Blockchain, AI, and Web3 fields. This month’s spotlight is on Builder.ai.
So, what exactly is Builder.ai?
Builder.ai is an AI-powered composable software development platform that enables individuals and businesses to build apps without technical expertise. Established in 2016, the platform breaks down software into reusable components, allowing for faster and more affordable app development. With strategic partnerships and a focus on innovation, Builder.ai empowers a better and more connected world by revolutionizing app development for all.
The platform’s user-friendly approach to app development democratizes technology, making it accessible to individuals and businesses of all sizes and technical backgrounds. By eliminating the barriers typically associated with software development, Builder.ai empowers entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises to bring their digital ideas to life efficiently and cost-effectively.
In 2016, Sachin Dev Duggal and Saurabh Dhoot set out on a mission to revolutionize app development with the birth of Builder.ai, a groundbreaking no-code app development platform. Their inspiration came from the firsthand struggles they witnessed in traditional app development – a time-consuming and costly endeavor that posed significant barriers for most businesses.
Seeing the inconsistency in app quality and the lack of accessibility for those without advanced coding skills, Duggal and Dhoot recognized the need for a transformative solution. They aspired to empower individuals and businesses alike to effortlessly create apps tailored to their needs, regardless of their technical expertise.
To achieve this vision, they harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline the app development process. The result was a user-friendly platform that could craft custom apps without requiring a single line of code. Instead of navigating complex coding languages, users could now simply communicate their requirements to Builder.ai, and the platform’s AI would swiftly construct a fully functional app that met their specifications.
The Team Behind it
The masterminds driving Builder.ai’s innovation are a talented collective of seasoned entrepreneurs and engineers. At the helm is CEO Sachin Dev Duggal, who brings to the table a wealth of experience in software development and artificial intelligence. His visionary leadership has been instrumental in shaping Builder.ai’s trajectory toward success.
Saurabh Dhoot serves as the company’s CTO, equipped with a background in computer science and engineering. His technical prowess and strategic acumen have been integral in the platform’s technological advancements.
But Builder.ai’s excellence doesn’t stop there. The team boasts a diverse array of professionals with extensive backgrounds in the tech industry, with notable stints at tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Their collective passion lies in leveraging technology to democratize app development, ensuring that it becomes an accessible and painless endeavor for everyone.
Through their tireless dedication and ingenious approach, Builder.ai has garnered praise for its simplicity and efficacy in helping businesses build top-tier apps rapidly and cost-effectively. With over $300 million in funding and a vast user base of 10,000 businesses worldwide, Builder.ai’s impact on the world of app development is truly transformative.
Product Development: The Core Technology behind Builder.ai
Builder Dashboard: A Transparent View of Progress
The Builder Dashboard is a vital component that provides users with a comprehensive view of their Buildcard’s progress. With real-time updates displayed as percentages, users can track the status of each feature and the latest release. Additionally, the dashboard serves as a centralized repository for storing essential documents, including invoices, contracts, and receipts. Users can also raise tickets for bugs, queries, or to-do items and expect swift resolutions. Furthermore, the dashboard facilitates seamless communication with the Builder.ai team, allowing users to ask questions and schedule meetings effortlessly. By minimizing offline communication and promoting transparency, the Builder Dashboard empowers users throughout the app development process.
Builder 360: The Studio Platform’s Central Nervous System
Builder 360 serves as the central nervous system of the Studio platform, playing a pivotal role in managing Buildcards from payment to handover. This powerful tool enables users to access and control crucial information, including requirements, selections, and Buildcard statuses. Moreover, it equips delivery teams with toolkits within each Buildcard, encompassing chat, email, hosting, and third-party integrations. With seamless integration with Builder Tracker, UIW, and Builder Hive, Builder 360 provides a holistic solution to track progress and manage customer relationships efficiently. Additionally, it facilitates the coordination of teams, including Productologists, Ninjas, and Senseis, streamlining the app development process.
Cloud Allocation: Optimizing Cloud Services with Precision
Cloud Allocation is an intelligent algorithm that predicts the cloud services required for each Buildcard. By analyzing the features selected, the algorithm identifies the most suitable and cost-effective cloud provider for the app. If users opt for Builder Cloud, the algorithm automates the entire cloud provisioning cycle, including account setup, CI/CD implementation, and business scaling. This innovative approach saves users from the complexities of cloud management, ensuring a smooth and efficient app development journey.
Inventory Management: Ensuring Optimal Cloud Reservations
At the core of cloud savings lies Osiris, an automated analysis tool developed by Builder.ai. Operating in the background, Osiris constantly evaluates cloud reservations based on demand. Leveraging advanced data models, such as SARIMAX, Osiris predicts usage quantity and trends, optimizing inventory and purchases without human intervention. This ensures that Builder.ai always provides customers with adequate cloud resources without unnecessary overspending.
Catalog Management Tool: Enabling Seamless Communication
The Catalogue Management Tool is the backbone of Builder.ai’s applications, facilitating seamless communication between different services within the platform. Additionally, the tool creates Gitlab repositories for projects, streamlining code storage and management.
Platform Provisioning: Simplifying Third-Party Service Integration
Builder.ai’s Platform Provisioning service simplifies the integration of third-party tools and services necessary for building, running, and scaling software. By aggregating various software services and automating account provisioning, users can access and manage multiple services from a single, user-friendly interface. This eliminates the hassle of dealing with multiple platforms and ensures a smooth app development experience.
Builder Meet: Secure Video Conferencing Tool
In response to security concerns associated with third-party tools, Builder Meet was developed as an in-house video conferencing solution. It not only enhances conversational AI models at the backend but also enables real-time, secure video communication within the Builder.ai ecosystem. With features like file sharing, chat, and screen sharing, Builder Meet ensures seamless collaboration and reduces communication costs.
Health Check: Anticipating and Preventing Project Delays
Health Check serves as an early warning system for project delays, utilizing insights from past projects stored in the Builder Knowledge Graph. By employing Bayesian network inference, Health Check assesses the probability of potential delays and identifies likely causes, such as unresponsive customers or complex feature interactions. Armed with this information, Builder.ai takes proactive action, reallocates resources, and prevents delays, ensuring projects stay on track.
Builder Studio: Empowering App Creation without Technical Barriers
Builder Studio stands as a revolutionary app-building platform that enables individuals to bring their app ideas to life, regardless of their technical expertise. With Builder Studio, you don’t need to possess any coding skills; all you need is a brilliant idea. At its core, Builder Studio operates on the concept of Building Blocks, a vast library of more than 500 features akin to Lego pieces. These features, such as Login, Shopping Cart, or Push Notifications, seamlessly stack together, providing a foundation for app development.
Studio Store: Pre-Packaged Apps for Rapid Online Presence
Studio Store offers a game-changing solution for small businesses seeking to establish a swift online presence through apps. This service provides pre-packaged apps tailored for various small businesses, simplifying the app development process significantly. With Studio Store, businesses can access all the essential app features, including web, iOS, and Android apps, along with hosting and maintenance. The advantage of Studio Store lies in its cost-effective approach, offering all these services at a low monthly payment. After 24 months, users even gain ownership of the app’s code.
Studio Rapid: Empowering Enterprise Teams with Speed and Security
Studio Rapid is the go-to solution for enterprise teams seeking to create industrial-grade applications at an unparalleled pace. With Studio Rapid, in-house designers can effortlessly design visually stunning screens using the drag-and-drop app builder. These screens are then automatically transformed into frontend code, ensuring seamless integration with existing systems through API mapping. The paramount focus on security guarantees that all applications created using Studio Rapid are 100% secure.
Builder Now: Prototyping for Seamless App Visualization
Builder Now introduces a powerful prototyping tool designed to revolutionize the app development journey. With Builder Now, users can visualize and test their app ideas before diving into coding. The prototyping process allows users to click through the app’s screens, observing how they flow, look, and feel. As a result, users gain valuable insights and opportunities to refine their app’s user experience early on, potentially saving substantial development time and costs. Builder Now offers a free version for basic use, or users can opt for a custom prototype created by a designer within just five days.
Builder Cloud: Optimal Cloud Solutions for App Operations
Builder Cloud represents the ultimate cloud solution, ensuring seamless app operation with discounted rates from leading cloud providers. Builder.ai’s strategic partnerships with Microsoft and AWS allow users to access preferential rates, saving costs on cloud services. The expertise of Builder Cloud’s professionals extends beyond cost optimization. From migration to cloud to infrastructure optimization, users receive comprehensive support to maximize the benefits of cloud computing. Additionally, Builder Cloud employs AI technology to predict users’ cloud usage, ensuring they pay only for the resources they genuinely need.
Studio One: Comprehensive App Support and Maintenance
Studio One presents a comprehensive suite of tools and services offered to users for one year upon building an app with Builder.ai. This package includes 24/7 uptime and performance monitoring, collaboration tools, security patches, and bug fixes. Studio One ensures that apps built on the platform maintain top-notch performance and security, providing peace of mind for developers and businesses alike. By continuously updating and enhancing the app, Studio One aims to maximize the return on investment and ensure a thriving app presence.
Market Penetration Strategy
Partnering with Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS)
Builder.ai’s partnership with UTS, founded by renowned tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou, serves as a key component of its market penetration strategy. As the official technology partner for the UTS Tour, Builder.ai powers the technology platform that enhances fan engagement and enables WEB 3 integration for a younger demographic. The collaboration with UTS allows Builder.ai to showcase its software capabilities on a global stage and attract new users to its platform.
Expansion in India with ZNet Technologies
To tap into the vast potential of the Indian market, Builder.ai partnered with ZNet Technologies, a leading cloud distributor in India. Through this collaboration, Builder.ai’s Studio Store services were offered to ZNet’s pan-India partner network, allowing businesses to access app starter kits for web and mobile platforms. This strategic alliance enables Builder.ai to reach SMBs and enterprises in India and help them embrace digital transformation without the need for technical expertise.
Strategic Alliance with BeGig®
Builder.ai joined forces with BeGig®, a marketplace connecting enterprises and tech freelancers, to offer Builder.ai’s Studio Pro® platform. This alliance empowers BeGig’s SMB customers to turn their ideas into customized software solutions through Builder.ai’s AI-powered app development platform. This partnership enables Builder.ai to serve a wider customer base and further strengthen its presence in the SME market.
Region-wide Partnership with etisalat UAE
Builder.ai entered into a partnership with etisalat UAE to empower SMBs in the UAE with a digital-first future. Through etisalat’s large base of existing SMB clients, Builder.ai’s Studio Store offers app starter kits and ready-to-go apps, making it easier for businesses to establish their digital presence cost-effectively. This collaboration allows Builder.ai to expand its reach in the Middle East market and serve businesses seeking efficient software development solutions.
Collaboration with Microsoft
Builder.ai’s collaboration with Microsoft is a significant milestone in its market penetration strategy. With an equity investment from Microsoft, the partnership focuses on creating AI-powered solutions that democratize software development. By integrating Builder.ai’s software assembly line with Azure AI and other Azure Cognitive Services, the collaboration aims to empower businesses globally to build applications without technical expertise. The integration of Builder.ai’s Natasha, an AI product manager, with the Microsoft Teams store provides seamless access to software development tools for Microsoft customers.
Funding and Growth
Series A Funding: Laying the Foundation for Growth
On November 6, 2018, Builder.ai announced its Series A funding round, marking the beginning of its funding journey. During this early-stage venture, the company raised an impressive $29.5 million. The lead investors in this round were Lakestar and Jungle Ventures, two venture capital firms known for backing technology companies with exceptional entrepreneurial leadership. They were joined by Deepcore, contributing to the company’s promising future.
Series B Funding: Expanding Horizons
Continuing on its upward trajectory, Builder.ai announced its Series B funding on June 30, 2019, during another early-stage venture. While the amount raised was not disclosed, the company welcomed two new investors, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Christian Edler. The IFC is a renowned global financial institution focused on private sector development, and Christian Edler’s participation added valuable expertise to Builder.ai’s growing network of backers.
Series C Funding: Reaching New Heights
As Builder.ai’s popularity soared, its Series C funding round on March 30, 2022, secured an impressive $100 million in late-stage venture financing. Leading the charge was Insight Partners, a prominent global software investor that partners with high-growth technology, software, and internet startup companies. Joining Insight Partners were WndrCo, Revo Capital, and IFC. WndrCo, spearheaded by ChenLi Wang, is known for its visionary investments, while Revo Capital brings its vast experience in venture capital. The involvement of IFC in this round further strengthened the company’s foothold.
Corporate Round: Microsoft’s Strategic Investment
The latest milestone in Builder.ai’s journey came on May 10, 2023, with the announcement of a corporate funding round led by none other than Microsoft, a tech giant synonymous with innovation. While the exact amount invested remains undisclosed, the strategic partnership with Microsoft is a testament to Builder.ai’s revolutionary approach to app development. Jonathan Tinter’s involvement adds even more value to this partnership.
Series D Funding: A Resounding Success
On May 23, 2023, Builder.ai announced its Series D funding round, a testament to its exponential growth and industry recognition. This late-stage venture secured a staggering $250 million investment, elevating Builder.ai’s standing in the market. The Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund known for safeguarding and diversifying the economy, led the investment, joining hands with existing partners such as Ahmed Ali Al-Hammadi, Jungle Ventures (represented by Amit Anand), Insight Partners (represented by Jeff Horing), and Blue Lion Global (represented by Manu Gupta).
Also Read: Blockchain Development With AI
How Builder.ai Differentiates Itself from Its Competitors
No-Code Software Development Platform
Builder.ai operates as a no-code software development platform where individuals and businesses can bring their ideas to life without the complexities of coding. This approach democratizes software development, enabling even non-technical users to participate in the process. By eliminating the technical barriers, Builder.ai opens up immense possibilities for SMBs to harness the benefits of digital technology efficiently and cost-effectively.
Reusability of Commonly Used Codes
The platform leverages the fact that a significant portion (around 60-70 percent) of software code is commonly used and reusable. By tapping into this pool of existing code, Builder.ai accelerates the development process, reducing time-to-market and overall costs for its customers. This efficiency is a key differentiator, enabling faster project delivery and higher velocity in software development.
Engagement with Global Dev Shops
Builder.ai collaborates with over 142 dev shops worldwide, bringing them onto its platform. This expansive network of software development teams is eager to work on projects and seize opportunities. When an SMB customer places their requirements on the platform, Builder.ai’s technology grades and selects the most suitable teams based on their expertise. This automated matchmaking process ensures that each project is handled by skilled professionals.
Streamlined Ordering Process
Builder.ai simplifies the software development process into a seamless experience, likened to ordering a pizza. Customers provide their specifications, and the system takes over, delivering price quotes, timelines, and even prototypes in a short period. The platform handles all technical aspects, allowing customers to focus solely on their ideas and vision.
Focus on Security and Privacy
Recognizing the importance of security and privacy, Builder.ai prioritizes its customers’ data protection. The company provides a copy of all source code to its customers, ensuring they have full control over their applications.
Global Presence and Expertise
Builder.ai’s impressive global presence spans 11 time zones, with a strong headcount of 270 employees in New Delhi. The platform caters to diverse software solutions, covering web, mobile, IoT, and wearables, catering to a broad range of industries and use cases.
AI-Powered Assembly Line Approach
Builder.ai takes a revolutionary assembly line approach by combining the power of artificial intelligence with crowdsourced teams of designers and developers. This streamlined process allows the platform to build custom digital products at an impressive speed, often twice as fast as traditional software development methods. Additionally, it achieves this at a fraction of the cost, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.
Unlike fully automated platforms, Builder.ai offers human-assisted customization. Users can start with just an idea and work with AI to shape their vision into a reality. The platform recommends features or allows users to add their own, creating a “build card” that outlines the maximum price and estimated delivery date. This collaborative approach ensures transparency and control for creators, even those without coding knowledge.
Studio Store with Pre-Packaged Apps
Builder.ai has launched The Studio Store, a collection of pre-packaged apps targeting small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These apps cater to various industries, such as e-commerce and delivery, and they are fast-tracked for deployment in less than eight weeks. The convenience of pre-packaged apps, specifically tailored to industry needs, makes it easier for SMBs to embrace digital transformation quickly.
Instant Prototyping with Builder Now
Builder.ai’s Builder Now tool offers instant prototyping, allowing anyone to design an app in as little as 10 minutes. This feature helps users explore their ideas, visualize user journeys, and gain confidence before investing significant time and money in development. The speed and simplicity of Builder Now set it apart from conventional prototyping methods.
Emphasis on Cost Transparency and Control
One of Builder.ai’s key strengths is its focus on cost transparency. As users build their app, they can see the associated costs in real time. By selecting specific features, users can control their expenses, making it possible to build an app within their budget. This level of cost visibility is essential for businesses, especially startups and small enterprises.
Modular, Customizable Apps
Builder.ai offers modular, customizable apps that cater to specific business needs. Users can select desired features from an existing library, which are then implemented into a bespoke app tailored to their requirements. This modular approach strikes a balance between cost-effectiveness and flexibility, allowing businesses to scale as needed.
Strong Focus on Digital Transformation
Builder.ai acknowledges the increasing importance of digital transformation for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Its platform aims to empower SMBs with a digital-first mindset, enabling them to adapt and stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving market. The company’s commitment to helping businesses amplify their digital presence is evident in its range of offerings and pre-packaged apps.
Continuous Growth and Future Plans
Builder.ai has been experiencing remarkable growth, with revenues tripling over the last few years. Its marketplace model and AI-driven approach have found significant traction in regions like the Middle East, India, Europe, and the United States. The company’s commitment to assisting SMBs during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free live service for their e-commerce or local delivery apps showcases its dedication to customer success.
Impact on Industries
Retail and E-commerce
Builder.ai’s no-code platform empowers retailers and e-commerce businesses to create custom digital solutions tailored to their unique needs. With features like scrollable carousels, secure payment gateways, and user-friendly interfaces, businesses can build engaging online stores and enhance customer experiences. By reducing development time and costs, Builder.ai enables small retailers to establish a digital presence and compete with larger players, fostering growth and adaptability in the ever-evolving retail landscape.
Hospitality and Travel
For hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies, Builder.ai provides the means to create customized apps for booking, reservations, and customer support. With a quick development cycle, businesses in the hospitality sector can swiftly adapt to changing customer demands, manage bookings efficiently, and deliver seamless customer experiences. This agile approach enhances customer satisfaction and boosts operational efficiency, leading to increased revenue and customer loyalty.
Large enterprises often have diverse and complex software requirements. Builder.ai’s platform enables them to build tailored solutions for various business functions, from supply chain management to customer relationship management (CRM). By eliminating the need for extensive coding and long development cycles, Builder.ai allows enterprises to quickly deploy digital solutions, improve internal processes, and optimize performance, contributing to overall operational excellence.
Local Delivery Services
During the COVID-19 pandemic, local delivery services became essential for businesses to serve their customers safely. Builder.ai’s support for the development of delivery apps has been instrumental in helping SMBs thrive in challenging times. By providing a rapid and cost-effective solution, Builder.ai has enabled businesses to launch local delivery apps quickly, ensuring timely and efficient delivery services to customers and facilitating business continuity.
Health and Wellness
For health and wellness businesses, such as gyms and e-learning platforms, Builder.ai offers tailored apps with video conferencing, content management, and interactive features. This enables fitness centers to offer virtual classes and personalized training sessions, enhancing accessibility and user engagement. By embracing digital solutions, health, and wellness businesses can cater to a broader audience and foster continuous growth.
Builder.ai’s innovative approach to app development, its strategic partnerships, and its mission to empower individuals and businesses with digital-first solutions make it a project worth recognizing. In a landscape where the pace of innovation can be daunting, Builder.ai serves as a steady ally, providing a human-assisted, AI-powered assembly line that fosters creativity and drives digital transformations. As it continues to expand its global presence and offer revolutionary software solutions, Builder.ai stands as a beacon of accessibility and progress in the world of technology.