Dynaboard founder Alex Kern has been programming since he was a teen, and over the years has attended more than 100 hackathons, even launching one of his own, Cal Hacks. Later he helped build a company called Distributed Systems that was acquired by Coinbase in 2018.
Throughout these experiences, he saw how the power of APIs made it easier to weave in sophisticated functionality and build an application fast, but he also noticed a gap around a developer framework that would enable developers to collaborate with others to design and build web applications in a similarly quick time frame.
Kern says he wanted to build a low-code web application development tool to bring together product managers, designers and developers in a single tool, allowing them all to participate, while giving the developers the power they needed to build in more advanced features. That’s why he started Dynaboard.
Today the company announced a $6.6 million seed investment to continue building the product.
“Dynaboard removes a bunch of the barriers and friction that’s normally inherent for building interactive web apps, zero to one, both for developers and developer adjacent folks. So you can build web apps in a fraction of the time with a drag and drop visual builder…[but there is also] a code editor that is built into the product that allows you to add all the logic and functionality and integrate it with APIs, databases and services,” Kern explained.
What’s more, as developers use Dynaboard and design components, they can save and reuse them, simplifying development further down the line. Kern says this is a core development concept, but his product is making it easier to build it directly into the programming process.
“It’s something that allows you to share and reuse parts of your app and instantiate them in the places that you need them. This means that you have more consistent-looking apps. It means that you have apps that have more functionality than they would otherwise, and it also means that you can enforce things like a design system throughout both your internal- and external-facing products,” he said.
Kern, who is a solo founder in the company, currently has seven employees, and says he is aggressively hiring across engineering and design. He sees diversity as a key element in building a successful business, especially for a product designed to build web apps in a collaborative way. “I actually think given the type of product that we’re working on, diversity is an essential thing that we have in the product development flow. All too often no-code and low-code tools forget about things like accessibility, usability, internationalization, localization and the like. And that’s actually part of the bread and butter of what web development actually means. The web is not just for a subset of users. It’s for everyone,” he said.
He added, “So not only do we believe that diversity and inclusion is an essential part of company building. I actually think for this particular product, it’s an essential part of our product, ethos and values.”
The product is currently in private beta. The seed funding was led by XYZ Venture Capital, with participation from Floodgate Fund, General Catalyst, The General Partnership, The House Fund, Abstract, Mantis and a number of industry angels.