The Makerpad Fund
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No-code Fund Memo

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Updated website with Deck, Memo and No-code Report can be found here.

Intro

Hi! I'm Ben. I am the CEO of Makerpadβ€”solo-founded in Jan 2019β€”an educational company focused on no-code/low-code technologies. I raised a small round in September 2019 from Earnest Capital, Andrew Wilkinson (Tiny), Sahil Lavingia (Founder of Gumroad), Andy McLoughlin (Uncork Capital), Ross Mason (founder of Mulesoft), Ronald Hans (founder of WeTransfer) and several others.

Makerpad is the #1 platform for anyone interested in the no-code movement and this fund is being run in close partnership with Makerpad. We were voted the #1 no-code product of the year ahead of Glide and Webflow in the Product Hunt Golden Kitty Awards 2019. We're currently a team of 11 (4 FTE and 7 PT), with our revenue currently growing at 100%+ YoY.

Before creating Makerpad, I was Community Lead at Product Hunt where we were acquired by AngelList.

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Thesis

The next big shift in the internet revolution is 'no-code/low-code'. Many people misunderstand its meaning, but the importance of democratising software development is understood widely. We no longer code in 0's and 1's. No-code/low-code is the next abstraction layer which unlocks the potential for everyone to build on the internet.

This belief has driven the creation of this fund and helped shape the way I will invest. I'm going to be investing small checks, across a wide variety of early-stage companies in the space who have a lead investor (I can also help with intro's).

An "index" approach to investing in no-code/low-code companies.

(We'll be working closely with our investments on community building and product growth.)

I will look for companies that:

  • Are building in the no-code/low-code ecosystem (examples: Webflow, Zapier, Bubble, Supabase)
  • Are building tools for creators with a 'no-code first' approach (examples: Convertkit, Gumroad, Circle)

Why me:

  • Actual value-add: Leading no-code expert; the largest no-code community platform; partners who pay Makerpad (e.g. Airtable, Zapier, Bubble + ~50 more). I've built a reputation as one of the leading voices in the no-code industry
  • Earliest possible dealflow. I see no-code companies before they raise, and often before they launch (Bildr, Draftbit, Causal, Circle, Stacker and Supabase all seen very early)
  • Validation signals: community adoption at Makerpad is a leading indicator of traction
  • I am a founder and leading no-code expert. I can help my investments with; community building, finding their audience and product growth.
  • I have a strong network from my time at Product Hunt/Angel List and beyond.
  • The fund has an allocation in 3 deals already (I cannot name some companies yet) alongside investors Coatue, Passion Capital, Y Combinator and more:
    • [Stealth] - Businesses customer-facing apps. Recently graduated in Y Combinator's S20 batch. (Seed)
    • [Stealth] - Scalable backend database. Recently graduated in Y Combinator's S20 batch. (Seed)
    • Causal - Build data models effortlessly. (Seed)

Additional team

  • Melissa Tal who has been heading our revenue projects at Makerpad will be running this fund with me. She has helped build out our partner program, which has added 40% revenue growth on our MRR since it began.
  • Mel's run her own successful startups. At 19, she started her first fintech company and sold it to a well-known Australian Managed fund at 21. She then co-founded the biggest fashion distribution company in Australia & New Zealand ($20m in ARR) before exiting. Her last company was a VC-backed food business that changed the way the organic food industry worked in the Australian Pacific region.
  • Mel will help run the day-to-day working of the fund, be a point of contact for our investors and a valuable resource for the founders we invest in. She already has great base relationships with our initial investments, and we share a complementary outlook on the kinds of companies and founders we want to back.

This fund will invest $25k-$50k in early-stage companies in the no-code ecosystem. The focus will be helping these companies build their communities, launch and grow their product.

*Opportunity for direct follow-on: we'll ask for our pro rata at every opportunity but we'll syndicate those allocations, giving LPs first priority, rather than invest out of the fund

πŸ“ Interviews

  • Zapier blog - what is no-code (link)
  • Webflow blog - How Makerpad guides businesses through the no code movement (link)
  • Trends by The Hustle - No Code Past the MVP with Ben Tossell (link)
  • Adalo - The Future is no-code (link)

🎧 Podcasts:

  • Software Engineering Daily - Makerpad: Low Code Tools with Ben Tossell (listen)
  • Indie Hackers: Creating a $200k Side Project Without Writing a Line of Code with Ben Tossell of Makerpad (listen)
  • Indie Hackers: #134 – Code vs No-Code with Ben Tossell of Makerpad and Sahil Lavingia of Gumroad (listen)

I'm known as one of the 'OG's' of no-code:

Investors know my presence in no-code and want to work with me:

Makerpad is the centre of gravity for no-code:

Makerpad helps no-code companies thrive:

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Fund details (note: rolling fund)

  • ~$400k per quarter soft-committed so far β†’ ~4-8 investments a quarter
  • 2% management fees (80% redeployed into the fund) / 20% carry (+ 0.15% AL rolling fund fees)
  • Minimum commitment: $5,000 a quarter (4 quarters minimum)
Rolling fund details

This is a rolling fund, meaning that I'm raising a quarterly subscription instead of a lump sum of cash to spend over x years. This fund, however, will be indefinite.

Cheers,

Ben - Questions? hi@makerpad.fund

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Important information

This presentation is highly confidential.

FAQs

  1. What is the reporting cadence?

    We will be running a monthly newsletter for our LPs on new deals we've seen, portfolio updates and general updates in the no-code/low-code space including insights from the Makerpad community.

  2. What is the anticipated geography of your deal-flow?

    The fund is geography-agnostic, we will consider deals from all over the world. We do anticipate a large number of deals will be from the US.