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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.

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.
  • Current investments include Causal, Stacker, Supabase, Circle and Stagger.

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)

  • ~$1M per year 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? ben@makerpad.fund

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Important information

This presentation is highly confidential.

FAQs

What is the minimum commitment per quarter?

$5,000 is the minimum we are currently taking. We do have a small availability for a minimum of $1250/qtr β€” if you'd like to ask about this, please email us here.

Where can I find information about subscriptions, distributions, contributing, fees etc?

Angel List have put all this information on the LP FAQ here.

What kind of reporting will you do for LPs?

We will be running a monthly report on the portfolio companies and news/updates from the sector. Each quarter we will run a investment report for LPs too.

Who are the LPs?

Our current LPs come from a wide range of companies:

  • Earnest Capital
  • Tiny Capital
  • AWS
  • Google
  • CBRE
  • Close.io
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.