Google’s Cloud arm has hoovered up five year old no-code development platform AppSheet, in what seems like an opener to a fight amongst the major cloud providers for code averse or dev light businesses who want to build their own customer apps.
AppSheet offers a platform for “business users” to create apps with no code, drawing on existing data such as spreadsheets, and providing add-ons such as geo services, machine learning and process automation. Pricing starts from $5 per month per user.
Microsoft and Salesforce have their own low code platforms, and AWS is rumoured to be working on something called AWS for Everyone, according to Geekwire.
AppSheet is based in Seattle, while cofounders CEO Praveen Seshadri and CTO Brian Sabino are both ex Microsoft staffers. So perhaps Google emerging as a buyer is not the obvious choice for the company. But then again, Google is hurling resources at building up its cloud business and working its way into business customers, with a strong focus on hybrid cloud.
Seshadri wrote in a blog announcing the buy, “There is now a tremendous pent-up demand for enterprise automation. With the rise of low- and no-code platforms, citizen development has emerged as the strategic way for modern organizations to invest, innovate, and compete.”
He said the firm’s services would continue, as would its integrations with the likes of Office 365 and Salesforce, while adding, “There is great potential to leverage and integrate more deeply with many of Google’s amazing assets like G Suite and Android to improve the functionality, scale, and performance of AppSheet.”
“Moving forward, we expect to combine AppSheet’s core strengths with Google Cloud’s deep industry expertise in verticals like financial services, retail, and media and entertainment,” he said.
Google Cloud’s VP of business application development, Amit Zavery, said its new acquisition fed into “Google Cloud’s strategy to reimagine the application development space with a platform that helps enterprises innovate with no-code development, workflow automation, application integration and API management as they modernize their business processes in the cloud.”
Seshadri said that the service would continue to be cross platform, and “We will continue to support and improve our integrations with other cloud-hosted data sources like Office 365, Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, and databases hosted in other clouds. And while the majority of our mobile app users run on Android, we will continue to support and improve the way our apps run on iOS and on web browsers.”
Seshadri said “We are philosophically and strategically aligned with Google Cloud in a shared commitment to a no-code platform.” Financial details were not disclosed, so we can only guess how far the founders and their investors are financially aligned too.