We recently raised $12M — here’s why
Last week, we announced that we had successfully raised a $12M round in series A funding. It was quite a week for us with tons of press coverage and an influx of new users!
Today, we want to talk a little bit about the background for the funding, what we plan to do with it, and how your future as a Fuse user is very bright.
But first, a bit of context..
App development is (finally) evolving
The landscape for developers and designers is changing rapidly as the use of apps continues to evolve, and competition is fierce. Developers and designers need to think more holistically about the overall user experience.
There’s tremendous interest in Fuse by app developers, design agencies and development studios, as well as some of the biggest brands in the world (both enterprise and consumer), and common for both groups is a vested interest in reducing development time and friction. Getting the results you want, faster, is of vital importance.
The truth is, most development tools in use today hasn’t gone through any significant change in the past 30 years.
And the roles of people involved are evolving too (some would even say converging). Developers need to understand design better and designers need to understand code. The keyword here being “understand” — not master. Making designers learn Objective-C, Swift or Java is simply not desirable (and in many cases not feasible, or at least not productive), which is why we created UX markup — a declarative language that’s easy to understand and lets people do more with way less code. Reducing the amount of written code by 80–90% is our goal.
In fact, it’s not just a goal; it’s what our users tell us their reality has become after switching to Fuse.
There are incredibly high expectations for enterprise and internal business apps these days. Having a consistent look, behavior and brand identity across the mobile platforms is important. To make this a reality developers designers and stakeholders need to be able to collaborate on a single, unified platform and iterate quickly on their ideas and designs, which is what makes Fuse and UX markup so incredibly powerful.
What has happened in the last year or so
We have grown to 25 people, bringing in even more great developer talent as well as designers and management. We’ve also been quoted in several well-respected publications as a tech company to watch without having done any publicity work at all.
We also launched our enterprise plan for advanced users and enterprises, which was a great milestone for us. And because the product development is in a great place, we’ve been able to focus more on winning new customers.
The Fuse platform itself has been updated and improved with literally thousands of features and fixes, and we’re proud to be one of those companies that are heavily focused on shipping often. In fact, since October 2015 we have developed, tested and shipped 50 new versions of Fuse!
That’s close to a new release every week, often including community requested features, in addition to increased stability and usability.
Three things on our near-term timeline are: Open Source, Fuse Pro (our premium UX editor) and Fuse Views (a way to include Fuse-driven components and code into existing Xcode or Android Studio projects.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of them.
- Open Source. We’re currently working out how the open sourcing of Fuse should work on a practical level, including assigning the appropriate licenses that will allow people to do even more with what we’ve built. This is something we’re doing together with our ever-expanding community, and it’s a truly exciting path for us.
- Fuse Pro is our premium tool, where UX markup can be inspected and modified visually. Because UX markup (the language that powers Fuse apps) is declarative, it’s possible to build a lot of incredibly exciting tooling. For the first version of Fuse Pro, we are including tools that have great value for developers while still making code more relatable for non-developers. It’s just as much about team cooperation as it is about making it easier to navigate the apps structure, navigation UI, animations and working with data sources. Fuse Pro will be available under our paid Professional and Custom plans, which also include Fuse Views, the combination of which is going to complete our vision to revolutionize app development.
- Fuse Views is a premium feature allows views and components created with Fuse to be embedded directly in existing native app projects developed in Xcode or Android Studio. For example: if you already have the core functionality of your app but want to create interactive charts, beautiful on-boarding screens, animated menus and more. Content kept in Fuse Views can be tweaked in real-time, just like regular Fuse apps. Fuse Views is also powerful in the case where you want to create a completely new front-end for an existing legacy app, while keeping all your existing native integrations.
Fuse Pro is currently in internal testing, and we will expand that into a wider, closed beta program pretty soon. Both Fuse Pro and Fuse Views is being developed with input from our user community and enterprise customers. We expect these products to ship to the first customers in Q2 this year.
In addition to product releases and improvements, expect us to host multiple Fuse user events across the globe to bring everyone together and share best practices, tips, and tricks, and have a little fun together. We’ve already hosted a series of meet-ups (usually open to the public, but we’ve also held closed events for companies and partners — get in touch if that’s something for you!), and this round of funding will allow us to greatly increase our presence in design and developer communities.
The significant investment we announced last week allows us to really build out our full roadmap and execute on our longer-term vision. This includes growing our team as well as expanding our presence in several customer locations around the world.
The funds also allow us to better ignite the growing developer community of Fuse followers and continue to fund our strong community support which our users really appreciate.
We’re exceptionally happy about how things are progressing, and about our community, and we can’t wait to show you all the things we’ve been working on!
To learn more about Fuse, check out our ever-expanding list of examples (with source code of course), join our community (we have a nice forum and a Slack group too) or simply follow us on Twitter or Facebook.