One of our first investments at 8-Bit Capital was Pipedream. We’ve known Pipedream founder & CEO Tod Sacerdoti for several years. Tod was previously the founder & CEO of BrightRoll.
Before BrightRoll was acquired by Yahoo, BrightRoll had an entire team of engineers just to build and manage integrations outside of their core data engineering team. By the time they sold the company, they had built 176 data pipelines that BrightRoll had to run and maintain. This pain and work was the inspiration for Pipedream.
Frustrated by the process, Tod Sacerdoti, who co-founded BrightRoll before a tenure at Flex Capital as an investor, teamed up with seven former BrightRoll employees in product and engineering roles to found Pipedream, an integration platform for building workflows and connecting cloud services. Pipedream allows customers to create workflows with open source connectors to APIs and extensions coded in Node.js, Python, Go or Bash for custom logic.
Investors lined up behind the idea. Today, Pipedream announced that it raised $20 million in a funding round led by True Ventures, with participation from CRV, Felicis Ventures and the World Innovation Lab. Sacerdoti says that the proceeds will be put toward further developing Pipedream’s product, expanding the number of apps on the platform and building out a go-to-market team.
Founded in 2019, Pipedream is akin to workflow automation platforms like Zapier, Integromat, Workato and MuleSoft — albeit more developer-focused. Any user, customer, or partner can add an integration to the close-sourced portion of the platform, while developers can add proprietary or internal integrations that aren’t intended to be shared with the larger Pipedream community. For example, Sacerdoti says that many customers use Pipedream to interact with existing AI platforms, building integrations to leverage AI models such as OpenAI’s GPT-3 or a cloud service AI product from Google, Microsoft or AWS.
Pipedream has a number of competitors in the workflow automation space, chiefly Zapier and the aforementioned FaaS products. Newer players include n8n, which provides a framework for users to synchronize data and workflows, and Merge, which helps its users build customer-facing integrations with third-party tools.
But Pipedream’s business is booming nevertheless. Sacerdoti claims that the company has more than 100 customers, including Checkr and Scale AI, and sees more than 600 developers sign up every day. Sacerdoti attributes part of the growth to the number of triggers and actions on Pipedream’s platform (thousands), which he believes positions the platform well against rivals.