London and LA-based Engineer.ai launched in an invite-only manner two and a half years ago, bootstrapped by its founders. Its platform combines AI with crowdsourced teams of designers and developers to build bespoke digital products at — they say — twice the speed and less than a third of the cost of traditional software development.
Today it announced at Web Summit that it has raised one of Europe’s largest Series A investments at $29.5 million, led by Lakestar and Jungle Ventures, with participation from SoftBank’s DeepCore. The round is among Europe’s largest A-rounds to date.
Engineer.ai’s “Builder” product breaks projects into small “building blocks” of re-usable features that are customized by human engineers all over the world, making the process cheaper than the average process.
Sachin Dev Duggal, founder, said in a statement: “We created Engineer.ai so that everyone can build an idea without learning to code. This investment round validates our approach of making bespoke software effortless. The capital comes at a time of rapid growth and will propel the platform into the mainstream, allowing Builder to open the door for entire categories of companies that could not consider it before.”
Dev Duggal added: “At a certain level we compete with Gigster albeit we have really taken a very different approach (assembly line and buying excess capacity from over 100 Dev shops in 10 timezones) whereas they are a modern-day consulting shop. This means we have massive scale with access to 32,000 devs and designers, we have over 500 building blocks that save our customers paying for features (code and designs) that we have already done. The dev shops thus also don’t compete with us as we buy capacity from them and will soon be offering them a way to partner on goto market.”
Amit Anand, co-founder and managing partner at Jungle Ventures, said: “We’re believers in Engineer.ai’s total ecosystem; making Bespoke Software like the iPhone with aftercare and a marketplace for all recurring services.”
“Software is the centre of every business today and the market has been waiting for a solution that eliminates technical barriers to build software so that everyone can engage in the new economy,” said Manu Gupta, partner at Lakestar. “By creating an AI-powered assembly line combined with the best global human talent, Engineer.ai’s Builder bridges the gap between an idea and a software product to enable it.”
Launched in June 2018, Engineer.ai has been used to create products like BBC, DiditFor, Manscore and ZikTruck.