Slow growth software? Anyone using Bubble with intentions of avoiding VC?

Dev shops aside, who is using their Bubble software with intentions of developing a slow-growth software business?

I’m curious what kind of diversity we have on this platform. No need to share your use case or industry.

There are so many paths to scaling a business - blood and tears (everyone has access to this!), debt-financing, business loans, f&f, search funds, PE if your size is right, etc. Yeah, VC is good for some things…not everything. There are tons of solopreneurs and even type-a smb entrepreneurs that sell to strategics or PE after 15 years using other leveraging methods. I previously used Bubble for some internal tooling while running a fairly large on-demand platform based out of Silicon Valley, but the Bubble software was rejected immediately by our enterprise customers when we tested it with several anchor partners and it certainly would not have been the right choice for the supply-side interface. No harm done, it wasn’t the right fit for that aspect of the b2b/b2c space but it was fantastic for internal tooling. I do see potential for Bubble software for some customer-facing spaces though. Hell, even large government agencies develop using tools like Wordpress and Drupal.


Curious to know why Bubble was immediately rejected? Was it because of compliance/source code ownership?


Purely speed / user experience. For our specific application where smoothness and speed was the most important aspect for end-user interaction (think things like trading, real-time logistics, etc.), the application couldn’t match the cross-platform speed that users were naturally using to execute journeys.

This isn’t a deal breaker for most applications though. Also, Bubble apps were more than fine for things like payments and internal software where UX is less of a priority than utility value.


I’m a big proponent of small businesses and pretty anit-corporations and greed, so I would say I fit the description of the type who is likely to avoid VCs.

However, in a personal project right now, I view the slow-growth as something that may take away opportunity to benefit from speed to market. Yes, Bubble beats out the traditional coding in terms of speed to develop and launch, but there is also a component of scaling the business that would benefit from the use of social media campaigns.

In saying that, I do believe, I may look to family/friends to raise enough capital to invest into social media campaigns, and/or employee salaries to help speed up the potential growth of the business.

I’m also not trying to change to world, or become a super millionaire. I want to be a business owner (I’m fine if it is small and if lucky enough to have it grow to be considered large, that wouldn’t be a problem), who operates a business in an industry they enjoy and have a true passion behind (so many profiteers enter into industries they have not passion for beyond the potential of dollar signs).

I think anybody going toward VC funding using a Bubble built app would be smart to take the approach my clients do. They execute a strategy that allows them to prove a product to market fit before they invest into building a Bubble app. Then with the Bubble app, they can achieve a bit more growth through automating lots of their existing tasks so they can focus on building the business.

Then after they have a solid MRR or profits, they go to VCs to get funding to put toward building the app on traditional code if the app/software they have needs the speed that Bubble doesn’t provide now (hopefully in the next 2-3 years it will :crossed_fingers:)

I have a client who has large enterprise customers using his Bubble built app and he is doing well…but he is in the process of building out a version on traditional code. His VC funding pursuits are to build his team further to add more developers to work on the traditionally coded version. In that case, I believe it is not necessarily that the speed of Bubble is an issue that causes him to look toward traditional code, I think it is the pricing, since he is using sub-apps for each client, which is from my understanding another subscription payment to Bubble for each sub-app. Reach 10 clients and that could be $1,300/month.

There are so many different personal and business related reasons why people may or may not be looking toward VC funding with a Bubble app or why VCs would grant or reject funding a company built on a Bubble web app.


we built a real time logistics platform on bubble that is lightning fast, works very well for us at an enterprise level. What do you think was the root cause of your speed issues you previously experienced?


There is so much discovery along the way if you’ve not built a software company or a SaaS app before. Heck, there’s a lot of discovery even if you have. I currently have no plans on taking on VC funds nor have I wanted them up to now. Bootstrapping, stair stepping, and growing organically has given us the time to learn what works and what doesn’t for a unique niche.

Industry knowledge gave me a head start on finding customers of a particular type and how to sell to them, then selling existing software as a dealer that was “pretty good” gave me the funds to build a company and the freedom to do this full-time, and then building a Bubble app myself from scratch gave me complete control of our solution which has multiplied our growth. I have no intention of moving off of Bubble at any time unless I reach a point where I discover it’s necessary for some technical reason. I haven’t found that point yet.

If I had VC funding back when I started or even when I launched my Bubble app a few years later, I may have made costly mistakes. I feel a duty and obligation to my customers to build a solution that is backed by a very stable profitable company so that we can be around for the long haul. Their operations depend on us. The industry and customers I serve need a utility truck, not a rocket ship, and I have no interest in investors breathing down my neck looking for a grand slam. I may be mixing my metaphors here…


meakishly raises hand

I am building an app for a very specific industry with not a lot of potential clients and maybe 3-4 total competitors worth anything.

My potential clients have never been (and likely never will be) out looking for cutting edge tech. They just want an affordable app that does a lot of stuff for them.

I am completely, 100% self-funded. And I like it that way.

If I get maybe 20-30 clients a year, that is stellar in my industry. And I’d need like 10 just to start breaking even.


Awesome. I think that is the sweetspot for ‘organic growth’ businesses and a solid self-aware way to approach your work.

Excellent. Keep at it and good luck. I’m guessing when you secure 5+ clients, those relationships and the reputation can help bring on additional clients?

The first $300k in ARR helped us lock in another $1.5M through referrals and credibility (client competitors also wanted a leg up, client employees would switch teams, etc.).


For what it’s worth for any new founders out there - after 9 years in Silicon Valley basking in the Kool-aid culture and surviving as a technology entrepreneur the entire time (the kind that isn’t surviving on family wealth, a trust fund, or living in a van), I have yet to personally know another startup entrepreneur that has “great things” to say about the experience of taking on capital debt. Some of them took on bad investors, some took on great investors…but all of them were stressed out beyond belief after doing so and ultimately became fully focused on the bottom line / shareholder value (as they should unless they’re a PBC or the like with strictly defined multiple bottom lines).

I think this is a fantastic time to be self-funded in software regardless of your long-term goals.
I get the sense there are a lot of great people lurking these forums (and we’ve seen some above!) who are doing incredible things with low-code / no-code to live their best life.

I also made a post here regarding considerations that slow-growth builders may want to keep in mind as they continue building.


This thread is comedy gold.

I don’t know man, a vanlife nocoder parked under the overpass at Vermont & Alemeda owns rental properties in Tahoe. I live down the street and the only thing I own is a bicycle. Hard to know what is a joke these days.


This. This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about.


I should have disclosed that the bicycle was a parting gift after putting 7 years of 100 hour weeks into the company. It was used, but totally worth it. Shareholders even gave me a handwritten note that said ‘good luck dashing into the next chapter of your life.’ Great people.

If anyone wants 30% off their next order of $20 or more, PM me.

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So close to hitting the delete button.

Working on b2c startup here. No VC money and do not want to. Started many companies and with one of them helped many startups to get break even quicker.

The hardest thing is that most or practically any startup forgets the most important fundamental. Proof is a paying customer and if you really solve a problem it does not matter that much how it looks or how many features it has.

The irony is that 80% of time is spend on 20% of tasks that can bring succes. Desk work. Like coding. Like talking to colleagues. Talking to VC’s. Even in the no code space I see this.

Think about it. Invest 50k. 40k dev and 10k marketing and sales? No! 10k dev and 50k marketing and sales in order to proof that you nailed it.

Another issue that we saw every time is that with more money people spent it on the wrong things. And although we explained that, entrepreneurs kept doing it. Kept building more features so they could win more customers. At least that’s what they think. The funny thing is that the value of your features is diminishing by the proces of adding more features. First time users get lost and it becomes harder to find features while working with the product. Keep it simple and clean and start to worry when you need a large Q&A section to explain all the great features. Potential customers will not read it. And this is the moment where startups start with the final and destructive phase of marketing en sales expenditure. We have such a great product now, if only customers would know about it! Customers are being bought at a loss but everybody keeps believing that they are acing the startup game. Growth growth growth!

I have never ever seen any first release of a product be so spot on that it solved a real issue for the to be customer such that the customer was willing to pay. If you are really good at figuring out what customers need and how to deliver it, it will take at least three iterations. For this proces Bubble is gold!


Yes, I’ve turn to No-Code (Bubble) because I could not find a cofounder/traditional developer.

I have a real product need that solves a niche business pain-points and that’s underserviced. It’s nothing sexy, bit more complex than just Bubble, involves some low code and APIs. Target market is big enough for a couple of cofounders, but not enough for VC interest.

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I see bubble as a testing ground for non-technical entrepreneurs to build and validate their ideas and concepts. After that stage to stay or migrate is reliant on app requirements.

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