Startup Unqork just hired its first CFO after revenue spiked 320% in the first quarter as tools to build apps without code surge in popularity

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Gary Hoberman, Unqork CEO

Unqork


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  • No-code and low-code tools that let people build apps without needing technical skills are seeing huge demand during the coronavirus pandemic as companies and public agencies have to conduct their business and operations online.
  • One no-code startup, Unqork, has seen tremendous growth during the pandemic, and just hired a new CFO to help keep up with its demand and ambitious goals. 
  • Unqork has tripled its revenues since it was founded in 2017 and saw its first quarter revenue grow 320% from a year prior, though its CEO declined to share specific numbers. It has also hired 120 new employees since the beginning of the year. 
  • Unqork’s tools are typically used by industries that are slow to digitize, like financial services, government, and healthcare, in part because it built into it’s platform the security and regulatory software that companies in those industries need. 
  • CEO Gary Hoberman said Unqork will go far beyond the market opportunity that analysts are predicting for the low-code and no-code market. 
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Tools that let people build apps without code are surging in popularity even faster than before, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies and public agencies to conduct their business and operations online. Last week, Amazon Web Services announced a new tool in the no-code space, making the market even more competitive. 

A recent report from Gartner estimated that 75% of businesses will be using at least four low-code development tools by 2024, both within IT departments and projects from non-engineers. One no-code startup may already be reaping the benefits of that conversion.

Unqork, a startup that helps build apps without touching code, has seen tremendous growth during the pandemic, its CEO Gary Hoberman told Business Insider, adding that at a time when companies are having to separate “necessity from accessory,” Unqork is still signing deals and growing. In fact, its revenue grew 320% year-over-year in the first quarter, he said, declining to share specific numbers.

To keep up with that growing demand, Unqork has hired 120 new employees since the beginning of the year, with 80 coming aboard since March. 

That includes several new leadership roles, including a new CFO — Dan Murphy, formerly Namely’s CFO — and a new head of platform operations — Bert I. Amadi of Bloomberg LP. Unqork is also opening a new office in London to expand internationally and hired former IHS Markit executive Konrad von Habsburg to run it.

As CFO, Murphy will help Unqork manage its rapid growth. Murphy said he sees Unqork solving a problem he often encountered in his professional life. “You’re looking to solve a problem and every time you stitch together a couple of different systems, it over-promises, under-delivers and invariably comes in over budget,” he said. Unqork won’t do that. 

Unqork is chasing a massive market opportunity

The startup targets customers in industries that have been slow to digitize, like financial services, banking, and insurance. 

“We were recently called by a CEO the ‘holy grail,'” Hoberman said. People have told him that Unqork has given their companies the speed they need along with the complexity of a secure application. “They didn’t think it was possible.” 

It boasts large customers like John Hancock, Goldman Sachs, and Liberty Mutual, which use it primarily for analyzing data and processing claims. But it’s also finding a customer base in industries like government and healthcare, which have been forced to rethink their operations during the pandemic. 

New York City officials used Unqork’s platform to build an application that helps manage the coronavirus by mapping hot spots and then helping connect residents of those areas to services. Using Unqork, city officials built the app in 72 hours without having to interact with a line of code. Washington DC then followed a similar model using Unqork. 

CEO Hoberman said Maimonides Medical Center in New York also used Unqork to build a patient registration system. The possibilities are almost endless, he added: Another customer used Unqork to build an HR system for performance reviews, and others are even using it to help safely reopen offices by tracking employee’s health status. 

“We could create a digital solution in days versus years in a compliance manner that no one else ever could before,” Hoberman told Business Insider in May. 

What sets Unqork apart from other no-code tools is that it has built into its platform tools to fit the security and regulatory needs that many companies have. For example, it’s tools meet HIPPA laws for the healthcare industry or special storage needs for regulated banks, Hoberman said. That’s why he thinks Unqork has the potential to build apps and businesses far beyond what experts are predicting for the low-code and no-code market. 

“At this point I would estimate 95% of what any enterprise is doing today in their company, we could cover,” he said. “So every single line of code being written for any industry in any company, I would say is legacy right now.”

Different analyst firms have different predictions about how large the low-code and no-code market will grow. For example, Forrester estimates the market will be worth around $14 billion by 2024. But Unqork’s goals are much larger: It’s going after the $500 billion companies spend per year on technology, Hoberman said. 

Right now the company’s focus is on building a strong team to support its ambitious goals.

“What we’re providing our customers is not just a platform to build applications,” Hoberman said, “But we have to be able to support their applications on top of it.”

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