Exclusive meetup with Emmanuel Straschnov, co-CEO of Bubble
On Tuesday 9 November, Emmanuel Straschnov, co-CEO of Bubble, was our super guest at Alegria.tech for an exceptional evening of questions and answers, hosted by No Code France.
We talked about the $100 million raise, the product roadmap, Bubble in France, the company's relationship with freelancers and agencies, and also about training and inclusion.
In July 2021, Bubble raises $100 million to expand its Nocode platform
Emmanuel: "After 9 years, we decided to give ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions and to raise funds. Internally, it doesn't fundamentally change things, even though there was a lot of excitement for the team between the internal announcement of the closing at the end of May and the press announcement at the end of June. On the other hand, for the outside world, it is a real change. We were the only ones not to have raised any money in recent months after the first $6 million fundraise in 2019. Going from 6 to 100 is not exceptional but it is good.
Today, the VC environment and the context around Nocode mean that fundraising is going fast, the funds are there, we had to take advantage of this dynamic.
I used to think that we didn't need them; we didn't want to have investors telling us what to do. In retrospect, it allowed us to focus exclusively on the product. For seven years we had time to develop it without distraction. Now, circumstances have changed; it was time to raise money to move the product forward.
Our goal is to become a standard, and we need funding to achieve it! The fundraising is there to allow us to accelerate and offer an even more powerful product. Of course the product still needs to improve, but it's almost mission impossible today for competitors to catch up with us."
What roadmap for the Bubble product and company in 2022?
Emmanuel: "On the company side, the fund-raising has enabled us to accelerate recruitment, and we are counting on even more in 2022. At the moment, we are interviewing, hiring and training a lot. It's really great, even if it does slow down other initiatives a bit.
We are looking for Designers, User research, Customer Success and also support, marketing and education people to continue to evangelise.
In France, we are looking for systems engineers in particular to come and help us develop the product."
Let's hear it! 😉
"On the product side, we seek to polish and embellish our still raw diamond so that it becomes perfect.
The responsive has just been launched in beta, and we still need to focus on the responsive engine, and put a lot of effort into making the platform easy to learn and use.
Our next major initiative will undoubtedly be in the area of key account management. We feel that there is a growing demand in this area for which we will have to be ready.
Bubble and its relationship with the Nocode community in France
Emmanuel: "The #Bubble community in France is 1250 people strong, and recently moved from 3rd place to 2nd place. This is quite remarkable for a product 100% in English!
Our strategy in France is to make the company known to as many people as possible, to continue to promote Nocode for everyone. We need to develop partnerships with schools in particular. But before we can fully concentrate on a country vision, we still have some Go to market work to finish in the United States.
And regarding the French version of the Bubble platform, this is of course a long-term objective. But for the moment, we don't have the capacity. Because launching a product in French implies that everything follows: support, service, etc., and to do it well, we are still a bit small."
What is the role of freelancers and agencies in the development of Bubble?
Emmanuel: "At the beginning, we didn't think that the freelance community could be so impacted by the launch of a product like Bubble, but then we started to receive thank you messages, regular and numerous events from freelancers. Today, we have a real responsibility not to let them down. We know that sometimes our users' frustration is there, we take it seriously to solve the bugs they encounter, and the teams do their utmost! They know that they carry this responsibility on their shoulders. It's a feeling, sometimes a heavy one, that we have to manage."
"We are planning several things to help freelancers as well as agencies. In particular, we are planning to set up a certification programme to increase the skills of future Bubble developers and find them. We are looking, through short programmes, to give people the desire to develop and create on the platform.
Today, there is a real shortage of Bubble developers, so there is a real opportunity for us as well as for the Nocode community.
Nocode training & inclusion of women in Tech
Emmanuel: "As far as training is concerned, the initiatives ofAlegria.tech, Ottho, No Code France, Contournement, etc. are already helping people to learn Nocode tools such as Bubble. Our goal is to train several thousand, million people over the next few years. So, we are all in the same boat and aligned on the subject because we all wish that in 30-40 years, Bubble will still be around."
"If I had to give a quick feedback on our first bootcamps, I would say that it is still quite new for Bubble. It's a small team of 3 people who have to manage it, so of course we have to keep developing it.
On the free format, we tested it and we saw that after 2 sessions, people stopped coming to the sessions. So I'm not convinced of the model: to engage, you have to charge a minimum."
"On the subject of inclusion, and in particular the integration of women into the Tech community, we must admit that it is not easy. And yet some of our cohorts are 50% female. We must continue to move the lines by communicating on our blogs, in the press, etc.. But it's up to you too, to all the Nocode actors, to continue the evangelisation of Nocode and to include all women and men in the Tech community!"