India’s low-code/no-code (LCNC) market is estimated to be worth $400 million and has the potential to hit $4 billion by 2025. An optimistic outlook is based on a wide range of benefits that the concept promises including allowing non-technical people to develop apps without needing to write code line by line. It has further helped in the rise of ‘citizen developers’, ultimately democratizing software development.
Even as there are a variety of LCNC companies in India, Mumbai-based DronaHQ is using the technology to empower engineers in building internal tools like database GUI, CRUD apps, admin panels, dashboards, etc.
The company was founded in 2007 by ex-Wipro employees Jinen Dedhia and Divyesh Kharade. It’s worth highlighting here that DronaHQ didn’t start off as an LCNC firm. Rightly so, LCNC is fairly a recent phenomenon in the IT industry. In the case of DronaHQ, the company began as a mobile application development platform with a focus on consumer internet with services like learning solutions on the go.
While the learning solutions did get the traction, the mobile OS ecosystem (think Android and iOS) wasn’t as developed as it’s today, which meant DronaHQ’s services had little scope of further diversification and development. “We learned the hard way that we were too early for the market,” Dedhia told Entrackr.
That’s when the company pivoted to building enterprise solutions. DronaHQ then began working with the likes of Wipro, WNS, and Airtel, among others. Later, the company evolved into a full-fledged application development tooling business, providing tools for developers to build apps.
As far as the pivot to LCNC goes, Dedhia explained that the huge market potential has encouraged all the tech giants including Microsoft and Salesforce to enter the segment.
He added that the company has focused on hyper-segmenting, which essentially refers to proposition solutions for particular tasks or use cases such as building front-end apps. These are specifically built as internal tools. Some of these use cases include onboarding tools for merchants and customers, refund management, operations, and revenue operations, among others. This so-called hyper-segmenting has helped achieve success, Dedhia said.
DronaHQ has to date raised just $1 million in external funding, which is rare at a time when most of the startups are driven by VC funding. “I don’t think there is only one template to build a business…,” Dedhia told Entrackr while citing the example of bootstrapped Zoho in the software industry.
He disclosed that the company’s current ARR is at $2.5 million and aims to achieve $10 million by 2025.
As mentioned above, the LCNC market is huge. Even as most of the tech firms have joined the space, one of the success stories is Retool, which last year raised $45 million at a $3.02 billion valuation. Considering the market prospects, the odds are new and existing players will double down to tap into the segment.