Blaze.tech: A No-Code Platform Focused on Ease-of-Use and External Applications
Even in the heavily saturated low-code/no-code space, Blaze.tech's simplicity and external focus makes it worthy of consideration.
🚀 DXI’s Market Movers profiles describe enterprise tech providers that we believe are delivering noteworthy, disruptive, and innovative solutions. The objective of each profile is to provide enterprise IT leaders with a fresh, unbiased perspective during any potential evaluation and to introduce potentially worthwhile companies that may be worth considering. DXI Market Mover profiles are provided on a complimentary basis and are never commissioned by the technology vendor.
Last Updated: December 5, 2023
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Blaze.tech is a relatively new entrant to the enterprise tech sector, offering a distinctive no-code tool for enterprise application development, with a particular capability in externally-facing apps. Its platform, differentiated by its simplicity, user-friendly interface, and unique pricing model, emphasizes deep customization in a market often limited by either rigidity or complexity — while still delivering enterprise-grade security and scalability.
The Value Prop
Our assessment of the company's core value proposition.
While the low-code and no-code sectors are well-established (and, you could argue, over-saturated), the founding team at Blaze believes that neither has served enterprises well. In their view, low-code solutions are overly complex and require too much coding, and no-code solutions come with too many limitations and too much rigidity.
The founders had previously launched (and subsequently sold) a tech company providing digital signage and had wished for a way to speed development during that effort. Unfortunately, they found traditional low-code and no-code platforms lacking. After selling the company, they launched Blaze to close this gap.
The company's chief value proposition lies in its ability to democratize app development within enterprises by empowering users with no technical background to create and manage applications — the long-held value proposition of no-code — but without the limitations they found in traditional no-code platforms. The company leans heavily on the simplicity and intuitiveness of its design to deliver the ease of use that it says drives extensive usage by client teams. Moreover, the company's unique pricing model makes the platform attractive for customer-facing applications, something that is fairly distinct in the no-code and low-code sectors.
Finally, the company has invested heavily in ensuring enterprise-grade scalability, security, and compliance. For instance, it offers SOC2 certification and HIPAA compliance. Perhaps the greatest testament to its ability to differentiate in this crowded market is the fact that it presently has no outbound marketing or sales activities, relying solely on inbound and word-of-mouth for new customer acquisitions.
The key features the company holds out as differentiating, plus our analysis of those features.
Design & User Experience
One of the company's primary differentiators is its ease-of-use, intuitiveness, and commitment to a true no-code approach to application development. The company's interface is unquestionably modern and delivers an intuitive experience. While the company acknowledges that there are some current limitations in terms of front-end design and styling (which it expects to overcome in future releases), it claims that there is extensive backend functionality to build almost any type of enterprise-class app. This simplicity and design-focus results in both rapid development by enterprise teams, and in a modern and intuitive experience for customers in the case of externally-facing apps.
Pricing Model Optimized for Customer-facing Apps
Most no-code and low-code tools are not optimized for use in developing externally-facing apps. This fact is often a function of design and functionality, but it is also largely driven by pricing models that make externally-facing applications untenable from a financial perspective. Blaze's pricing model is differentiated both in that it has distinct pricing based on whether an organization will use the app internally or externally, but also in its approach to pricing for externally-facing apps. The company's pricing model begins with the foundation of unlimited apps and unlimited users — internal or external. Pricing for external use is then developed based on expected consumption and usage rather than on the number of applications or users.
Enterprise-grade Security, Compliance, and Scalability
Another key differentiator is the company's focus on enterprise-grade security, compliance, and scalability. The company's founders believe that most true no-code tools are optimized for departmental or workgroup functionality and, as such, do not offer the levels of security, compliance, or scalability that enterprise-grade applications demand. According to the company, two of its founders were instrumental in building out the Microsoft SQL Azure architecture and, therefore, designed scalability into the company's foundational architecture. Moreover, the company has put significant focus on things like fine-grained role-based controls and discrete access control. In addition, the company has invested in getting SOC2 certification and in ensuring that it is in compliance with HIPAA to support healthcare applications storing patient data.
The company is also attempting to differentiate itself with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The platform currently provides a conversational interface that assists users with portions of the development process. The company expects that it will continue to improve these capabilities in future releases. While not entirely unique, here again the company's focus on ease of use is creating differentiation. The company also offers numerous pre-built, API-based integrations to existing AI platforms to enable users to build AI components into their own applications. While this is not proprietary technology, it does enable non-technical users to leverage AI technologies within their applications with a simple, but controlled interface.
The broad low-code and no-code sectors are interesting in that, on the one hand, they are over-saturated with a seemingly countless number of competitors across the spectrum. On the other hand, broad adoption within the enterprise is still nascent, which continues to leave the door open to a competitor that can somehow crack the code of providing sufficient power, security, and scalability to deliver enterprise-grade apps with simplicity sufficient to enable the true democratization of application development.
This is the competitive position the company is attempting to stake out. The company has successfully delivered a high level of ease-of-use and its focus on externally-facing apps positions it strongly in an enterprise space that is consistently putting more focus on customer experience and engagement as part of their digital transformation efforts.
The company remains somewhat untested in its claims around security, compliance, and scalability, but if it lives up to its promise, that will position it extremely well in this crowded space. The one element that seems to be diminished is discrete components designed to enable better collaboration between IT and business users. The platform allows for such a collaboration and the role-based controls required of enterprise apps, but does not seem to have any explicit elements that may speed workflow and interactions between teams during development.
Nevertheless, the platform’s ease of use and its focus on externally-facing apps is likely enough to make it worthy of consideration and evaluation for any enterprise looking to provide its non-technical users with the ability to drive automation and experiential transformation outside the walls of the enterprise.
Our 7 Investment Signals
Investors & Valuation
Who has invested in the company and current valuations are a strong indicator of investment worthiness, particularly in early-stage start-ups.
Blaze is an early stage company, having received $5MM in seed funding as of October of 2023. The company's most recent funding round was led by Black Opal Ventures and K8 Capital, both investment firms that focus on early stage investing. Black Opal Ventures, in particular, has a strong enterprise pedigree (albeit, mostly focused on healthcare). Moreover and despite the relatively limited funding, the company claims to be cash flow positive, providing it with solid control over future growth-oriented investments. Strong.
Deep, bi-directional partnerships, particularly with larger firms, are another solid indicator of market trust in the company's vision, product, and strategy.
While the company has implemented a partner program, we have little information on significant partnering activities at this time (which is also not unusual for a company at this stage). Inconclusive.
A quality, experienced team can overcome many challenges and should always be a critical indicator of investment.
The company's founding team has a positive track record with a successful previous exit. That is not insignificant. Moreover, the fact that the team has remained together for the launch of Blaze will be tremendously beneficial in ensuring cohesiveness, avoiding many of the internal issues that often challenge startups. While the founder’s previous company was not focused on enterprise tech, per se, it did sell technology to enterprises. Likewise, the company’s founders have done extensive work in enterprise tech previously in their respective careers, giving them a solid understanding of the needs of enterprise IT organizations. Strong.
A crystal clear vision for both the market, your pain points, and how the company can serve you are essential to long-term growth and sustainability.
The company has a commitment to delivering a simple, easy-to-use method of application development. It believes that current options, whether those intended for internal or external applications, all have significant limitations that impact their depth of usage within an enterprise. Still, the company does not seem to have a cohesive view of precisely where or how a more simple-to-use development platform will deliver competitive differentiation for an enterprise or how it will improve productivity or reach for its IT organization. Passing.
Solid growth is always a good signal of market uptake and competitive sustainability. However, this signal is less valuable in very early stage and very large companies.
The company reports that they have grown 1,000% between 2022 and 2023. Strong.
Revenue per Employee
Less valuable for very small organizations, this is a fabulous indicator for companies once they break through the very early stages. Low-levels indicate either over-hiring or low revenue returns — or both.
We do not have information on Revenue per Employee at this time. Moreover, Blaze is at too early of a stage for this to be relevant. Inconclusive.
Note: The information in this profile is based on information provided by the company or on publicly available information. It has not been independently verified by The DX Institute.
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