On EQT Ventures’ Investment in CodeSandbox, tackling the final frontier in collaboration

Ashley Lundström
Oct 29, 2020 · 4 min read

Today, CodeSandbox announced a funding round of $12.7m, led by EQT Ventures, alongside previous investors including Kleiner Perkins and a number of angels including the founders of Netlify, Figma, Sourcegraph, and Framer.

“I can’t remember the last time I saved a file locally”

/Said no developer, ever. 😭

There’s a huge macro movement from local, on premise to web and cloud, —a wave we at EQT Ventures are excited about with investments in companies such as Vectary, Netlify, Frontify, and Anydesk. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest and most important effects are the countless new opportunities for #collaboration 🙌🏽. Today, many of us take the ability to live and work in the cloud for granted. In our private lives, we can easily save photos, interact with friends, bank, shop, and play games with friends. At work, we have a booming number of software tools designed around collaboration, from Google Drive and Workspace suite to Notion and Miro. Even categories that creators said would be impossible to bring to the web, such as design, have already seen swift transitions led by transformative companies like Sketch and Figma. Collaborative software is still far from perfect, but it’s getting better fast.

Ironically though, there’s still a final frontier when it comes to software development itself.

Today, collaboration on code is hard. Developers work in local development environments — detached from the multidisciplinary orgs they and their work is inherently part of — and write code in isolation.

The recent boom in development frameworks and cloud services has democratized software development, but has also resulted in increased complexity (and zero tolerance for latency). Demands on developers are coming from product teams and designers, and increasingly from other teams such as business intelligence, marketing, and finance.

Developers have become a bottleneck.

This has given rise to the very exciting low/no code movement, but the ecosystem still lacks connectivity.

🥁 And this is exactly what founders Ives van Hoorne, Bas Buursma, and the rest of the (fabulous) team at CodeSandbox are building: the long-awaited promise of the web IDE with a collaborative coding platform for rapid web development that’s faster, more collaborative, and easier to use than local environments AND that enables anyone to contribute to an application without having to go through a developer. Seamless connectivity across ecosystems. Yes, you read that right. But make no mistake, the team isn’t naive. As developers themselves, they know firsthand the challenges — and expectations — they face.

Believing that the simplest categories — also often those with the most to gain from collaboration — will move to the cloud first, the team started with a simple prototyping tool.

The free sandboxing tool, with deep integrations to JavaScript frameworks like React, Vue and Angular, makes it possible to collaborate and build static sites, components and full-stack web apps almost instantly.

Here are some examples 👇🏽

  1. Learn how to build a Spring-animation using playcards and gesture control
  2. Learn from 32 000 examples of how to build apps using Three.js. For example a simple ping pong game in 3d.
  3. Or just connect to your own existing code on github into a new sandbox and start collaboration online today

With the upcoming launch of Pro Workspaces, developers and product teams of all sizes will be able to collaborate — either to simply share feedback with comments or code together.

With this level of product fidelity already, a large community of web developers is forming around the platform: millions of people each month interact with CodeSandbox sandboxes, including developers across the biggest household names in tech. This type of organic excitement around a product is rare to find, especially at this early stage. This momentum — combined with the founders’ inspiring vision aligning with the unstoppable macro movement happening around us — made joining the CodeSandbox mission irresistible.

This is especially true for us at EQT Ventures where we’re developers ourselves, building our own collaborative and AI-based investment platform Motherbrain — that tipped us off to CodeSandbox in the first place (!🤖!).

Now we’re thrilled to support the growing team going forward, alongside Kleiner Perkins and the angels from the community who have supported them from the beginning.

CodeSandbox is hiring! — remote-friendly, with half of the team already distributed outside of the Netherlands.

Still curious? Or skeptical:)? Read on at the CodeSandbox blog or on Twitter.

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