A brand new startup is concentrating on the profitable office productiveness area with an open source method to undertaking and information administration — and it has acquired backing from a who’s who of traders from throughout the expertise spectrum.
AppFlowy, as the firm is known as, has raised $6.4 million in funding from a slew of famend founders together with Matt Mullenweg (Automattic); Steve Chen (YouTube); Tom Preston-Werner (GitHub); Bob Young (Red Hat) and Amr Awadallah (Cloudera). The seed spherical was led by OSS Capital.
Helping the workforce be extra environment friendly is large enterprise, evidenced by the likes of Notion hitting a lofty $10 billion valuation off the again of distant work-driven demand for collaboration software program. However, as proprietary software program, companies — notably enterprises — is likely to be hesitant to go all-in on a expertise they don’t have full management of.
And this, basically, is what AppFlowy is searching for to deal with with a self-hostable resolution that goes a way towards addressing safety and extensibility issues with the incumbent suppliers.
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, AppFlowy consists of instruments for managing initiatives, taking notes, monitoring the standing of particular person undertaking gadgets, viewing deadlines, creating paperwork, amongst different issues that is likely to be acquainted to people who use related digital workspace instruments.
However, AppFlowy’s promise is all about management and customizability, permitting corporations to tailor their workspace with modular constructing blocks that may be fine-tuned for particular use-cases. And as a result of it’s open source, AppFlowy is ready to help group contributions, which might expedite new performance.
But AppFlowy sees itself as notably appropriate for industries with tight information privateness restrictions.
“Most proprietary collaboration workplace tools share a major limitation — their customers find it too hard or too expensive to have 100% control of their data,” co-founder and CEO Annie Anqi Wang stated in a blog post. “As a result, vendor lock-in becomes a tough nut to crack. Users often feel worried when entrusting their sensitive data with these tools, naturally worried about their longevity.”
To the cloud
Founded two years in the past by Wang, a former product supervisor at ByteDance, and CTO Nathan Foo who was beforehand a software program engineer at TikTook’s mother or father firm, AppFlowy arrived on GitHub beneath a “copyleft” AGPL-3.0 license in November 2021 and went on to go 30,000 “stars” in its first 12 months.
With $6.4 million in the financial institution, the firm is now well-financed to construct out the platform right into a moneymaking enterprise. AppFlowy had launched self-hosting through Supabase (an open source Firebase alternative) in early September, serving up information storage for these wishing to host AppFlowy in-house. But alongside its funding, the firm additionally unveiled a cloud product, designed for deployment on cloud platforms comparable to Amazon EC2 and Azure digital machines.
“Moving forward, we will support team collaboration and enterprise offerings based on AppFlowy Cloud,” Wang informed TechCrunch.
Indeed, whereas self-hosting offers corporations unbridled management of their information, it additionally comes with upkeep prices and challenges that not all corporations can be keen or in a position to cowl — which is the place AppFlowy Cloud enters the fray.
With the promise of end-to-end encryption (E2EE), AppFlowy hopes to court docket companies which might be hesitant about leaning on the cloud because of safety issues — nevertheless E2EE is completely elective, and some companies may want to not activate full encryption provided that it limits a few of the issues that customers can do. This consists of real-time collaborative enhancing on paperwork, whereas it could may hinder integrations with sure third-party providers, amongst different impediments.
“People often want E2EE for the utmost security, however, there are several reasons why some people might choose not to opt in for E2EE,” Wang stated. “Users prioritizing speed and performance might opt out of E2EE, [and] the lack of recovery options [will mean] that only the user has the keys to decrypt. An organization might [also] choose not to use E2EE because of the regulatory compliance, data retention policies, and management considerations.”
It’s additionally value noting that corporations can undertake a hybrid native / cloud method with AppFlowy, enabling them to maintain their occasion native and solely sync to the cloud when required.
“This approach offers a blend of offline experience and cloud connectivity, depending on user needs and preferences,” Wang stated. “Data is used in a local environment, and can be uploaded to the cloud when users want to back-up or share it. However, users also have the choice to sync continuously.”
Eventually, AppFlowy Cloud may even be the firm’s ticket to monetization, although it is going to initially be supplied fully without spending a dime.
“We plan to adopt a freemium model for AppFlowy Cloud, which means that certain premium features will not be included in the free tier,” Wang stated. “As these features are still under development, there is no paywall at the moment.”
AppFlowy’s cloud platform is on the market in non-public beta now, with its full public launch touted to return “soon.” The firm additionally stated that’s working on a cell app which is scheduled to launch subsequent month, and will assist AppFlowy go totally cross-platform.