Anima, the YC-backed platform that turns designs into code, has today announced the close of a $10 million Series A financing. The round was led by MizMaa Ventures with participation from INcapital and Hetz Ventures.
We’ve been following Anima, which was bootstrapped until last year, for a while now.
The startup indexes on several trending ingredients right now, including a bottoms-up distribution approach, and the popularity of low/no-code.
Here’s how it works.
Most developers spend a tremendous amount of time turning design elements into code. Unfortunately, this piece of their job isn’t nearly as exciting as writing the code that actually makes the app, website, platform, etc. work.
With Anima, designers can upload their element or design from Figma and it will be automatically transformed into high-quality code, with support for React, Vue.js, HTML, CSS and Sass. Designers can also create prototypes of their work right within Anima, so that the system can process not only how something looks statically but how the flow should feel.
Co-founders Avishay and Michal Cohen and Or Arbel (a name you may recognize from the glory days of Yo!) have a clear vision on how to use the funding. Alongside tripling the size of the team, they plan to build integrations with platforms like Figma, Sketch, etc. and GitHub so that Anima itself can effectively get out of the way, allowing designers and developers to hand off these elements in the platforms where they already live.
In terms of distribution, Anima is making the most of their bottoms-up approach. Any designer can sign up for free to use Anima, and right now there are more than 600,000 users registered with the platform. That’s compared with roughly 300,000 users in October of 2020. Avishay Cohen clarified that active users are growing, too, with 80,000 monthly active users on the platform now compared with 10,000 a year ago.
The Cohens went on to explain that more than 5% of free users convert into paying users, and that 15% of paying accounts expand into teams organically within the first one to two months of becoming a paid user. The startup is already getting requests for enterprise accounts, which the co-founders describe as the next phase of the business on the back of this new funding.
Arbel told TechCrunch that the greatest challenge during this time has been hiring in a remote world, and that the answer to that, for Anima, has been looking at talent on a global scale. The Cohens added that with that hyperscaling, growing the team from four to 30 in the year and continuing to hire, it is challenging to maintain and foster company culture.