Insight Partners backs no-code and email tools for the future of work

27 Jul 2021

Image: © AlexOakenman/Stock.adobe.com

The US VC has led $100m funding in no-code application platform Bubble and $34m for email management software Sedna.

New York VC firm Insight Partners has led investments into two start-ups capitalising on the transformative shifts in the digital workforce.

Bubble, also based in in New York, has secured a $100m round led by Insight. Its no-code platform is described as “a point-and-click programming tool”, helping users with no programming knowledge to design and build web applications.

Low-code and no-code tools are on the rise as digital transformation intensifies and the shortage of experienced programmers continues. Bubble is expected to float on this trend to reach great heights. The company was listed among Fast Company’s 10 most innovative start-ups of 2021.

Started in 2012, Bubble saw a surge in growth in 2020. It reportedly has more than 1m users worldwide and claims that revenues tripled in the past year.

Reuters reports that Bubble will use the funding to hire more engineers and launch coding boot camps.

‘Sedna is one of the few software companies that actually helps a large number of users to save hours of work every day’
– MIKE CHALFEN

As well as Bubble, Insight Partners also led funding announced today (27 July) for Sedna.

Sedna has set out to reimagine email for a complex world. Seeing the widely used but much-maligned email as more of a one-to-one medium, founder and CEO Bill Dobie explained in an interview with the Journal of Commerce how it could be augmented for information-sharing across multiple teams.

“With critical information trapped in personal inboxes, there is a chronic lack of visibility, which makes it difficult to effectively collaborate within and across teams,” he told the publication’s technology editor, Eric Johnson.

Sedna brings together a team’s messages, documents and contextual data, and supports a tagging system to flag key information across multiple communication channels. This and other automated features can be used to help users manage both inboxes and workflows, easily identifying tasks they need to tackle.

Features include a shared team inbox with activity panels to add contextual information and comments to an associated email, tag users in real-time discussions, and see who has read a message through an activity feed.

Rather than seeking to displace email service providers, Sedna sets out to better equip these services for modern, distributed teams. Sedna’s software also integrates with other collaborative tools such as Microsoft’s SharePoint, Google Drive and Salesforce.

While Sedna’s technology is not restricted to any one industry, Dobie sees particular opportunity in the logistics industry and has already secured customers in this sector.

Founded in 2017, the start-up saw strong growth in 2020 as distributed teams were relying on electronic communications more and more. Glencore, Norden, Bunge and Starling Bank have all been added to its roster of more than 60 clients.

The company closed the year with a $10m Series A round. It has today announced Series B funding of $34m led by Insight Partners, with returning investors from its previous round.

Dobie said he was happy to have Insight as a scale partner and the company will use the investment to expand and develop its software.

Rebecca-Liu Doyle from Insight will join the Sedna board following the investment. “Sedna’s power is in its ability to introduce immense speed, simplicity and delight to any inbox experience, regardless of scale or complexity,” she said. “We are excited to partner with the Sedna team as they continue to make digital communication more intelligent for teams in global supply chain and beyond.”

Returning investor Mike Chalfen added: “Sedna is one of the few software companies that actually helps a large number of users to save hours of work every day. This is the result of [Dobie] rethinking global scale business communication from the ground up, and a profound tech platform that is built for huge speed and increasing intelligence over time. It has been impressive to see him build a leadership team that can execute on this huge opportunity, and to attract the new capital to fuel the growth ahead.”

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com