How AI-led startup Builder.ai is helping small businesses access quality software at lower costs
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) keen to move onto the digital economy could be overwhelmed with technology, especially software, which denies them the opportunity to harness its numerous benefits. An Artificial Intelligence-led technology startup is setting up an online marketplace platform where people can place their requirements and receive the desired software application.
Builder.ai, founded by serial entrepreneur Sachin Dev Duggal, aims to change the way software applications are built and delivered, especially for SMBs.
Sachin says, “SMBs were put-off by the complexity of software applications and many of them outsourced their requirements, but this has not adequately addressed their business needs.”
He feels that many SMBs are using traditional economy technology tools for the digital world thus losing out on efficiency and costs. Moreover, large tech enterprises are not keen on catering to the needs of SMBs as their requirements are small-budget. This is where Builder.ai comes into play.
Sachin describes Builder.ai as a no-code software development platform where anyone can come with an idea, build it and run the project.
There are few fundamentals on which Builder.ai has built its business model. The first and foremost is that most of the software in existence has commonly used codes that account for around 60-70 percent, making it reusable. Secondly, there are enough number of software developer teams or dev shops around the world who are keen to work on projects and may not have the opportunity.
Builder.ai is engaged with over 142 dev shops and has brought all of them to its platform.
Sachin says all that an SMB customer has to do is come to their platform, give their specifications and leave it to software engineering teams across the world who will work on that project.
“In a very short period of time, we can provide the price, timeline and a prototype of the project,” he adds.
The technology platform of Builder.ai grades the engineers based on their expertise and automatically chooses which teams get the project based on their expertise.
“The entire process is like ordering a pizza where once the customer lists out the requirement and then the system takes over,” says Sachin. “In this entire journey, our customers need not have any kind of technical resources.”
Builder.ai takes care of the security and privacy aspects of its customers as well. “We give a copy of all the source code to the customers,” says Sachin.
Time to market
The founder adds that such a process enables higher velocity in software projects at lower costs.
“We are an end-to-end platform that helps customers to build, run and tailor software,” says Sachin adding that the startup ensures that there is a constant update on the software
Headquartered both in Los Angeles and London, it also has a large team in New Delhi with 270-member strong headcount. The dev shops it has partnered with operate across 11 time zones and it provides
software solutions for the segments of web, mobile, IoT and wearables.
Growth and future plans
According to Sachin, the demand for this kind of services is a “bottomless pit”. For now, it has found maximum traction in the Middle East, followed by India, Europe and the United States.
A big chunk of Builder.ai’s customers are entrepreneurs who operate in the fashion, retail and hospitality businesses, along with some enterprise technology players.
According to Sachin, Builder.ai has been registering just under 100 percent growth over the last three to four years with revenues tripling during the same period.
The startup, which was bootstrapped for a considerable period of time, raised $29.5 million Series A funding in late 2018, led by investors like Lakestar, Jungle Ventures with participation from Softbank’s DeepCore.
In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Builder.ai is committed towards helping all SMBs to build their ecommerce or local delivery app and is providing the first three months of live service for free.
Sachin has plans to speed up things at the company, which would also mean lower costs for its customers. “We would like to shorten the delivery time of our software from the present 16 weeks to just four weeks. This would also result in lower costs,” he signs off.
(Edited by Apoorva Puranik)