n8n raises $1.5m to provide free and open API-based workflow automation
With support from Sequoia Capital and firstminute, n8n is on a mission to increase the effectiveness of knowledge workers everywhere.
●Berlin-based n8n raises $1.5m in seed funding from Sequoia Capital andfirstminute to automate manual workflows and help knowledge workers to bemore effective.
●Since its launch on Github, n8n has seen tremendous user adoption andcommunity engagement. n8n is currently licensed under Apache 2.0 withCommons Clause.
●The company is an early supporter of the “Fair Code Movement,” combining thebenefits of an open source approach while preventing big tech from strip-miningthe underlying source code.
Berlin– March 13, 2020 – n8n, the company bringing open source and workflow automation together, announced a $1.5 million seed investment led by Sequoia Capital and firstminute. Runa Capital, Tiny VC and System. One, as well as Kevin Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite &Xoom, and Ilkka Paananen, co-founder of Supercell also participated in the round. Despite the proliferation of APIs, organizations and their employees continue to struggle with tedious and manual tasks. With n8n, for the first time, anyone can build multi-step workflows that combine both third party applications and their own internal tools. By facilitating the synchronisation of data across these normally independent and siloed systems, n8n enablesusers to create easy-to-use automations that snap together all the pieces of their workflows.n8n provides developers access to and total control over the underlying source code. This flexibility avoids the problems plagued with existing no-code solutions which are expensive and break when you try to create complex workflows. The product is not only for developers but has an intuitive interface that enables non-technical users to automate their tasks. A simple example might include connecting a CRM to Slack or e-mail, where as a more complex scenario might involve building data models with real-time data inputs.
“As talent is becoming more scarce, every organization is looking to get more from the great people they have,” said Matthew Miller, partner at Sequoia who has also worked closely with Docker, Confluent, Tessian, and Graphcore. “This is driving a surge in automation solutions in every industry. We were impressed by n8n’s early adoption in the open source community and Jan’s vision to build an open and flexible solution in this space, and we’re thrilled to have n8n asour first seed investment in Germany.”
The n8n product publicly launched in October 2019 and already has 6.5k Github stars, making itone of the fastest growing workflow automation tools on Github. Developers have already used n8n to build more than 100 integrations and community meetups have been organised around the world. n8n founder and CEO Jan Oberhauser believes that n8n’s core differentiation is the power ofthe community behind the product and the ability for users to self-host the solution, maintain control over their data and integrate with other custom-built in-house tools.“
n8n encourages developers to share their integrations, creating a marketplace consisting ofthousands of third party applications,” said Oberhauser. Whereas other tools require users toprovide access to their personal or work accounts to access the data, self-hosting results ingreater privacy and flexibility.”
A new approach to open source n8n is taking a different approach to open source by applying the Commons Clause license tothe project. The software is free to use and its source code is openly available. Additionally, the commercialization rights that have so often been abused by big tech companies rebundling open source software with their paid services, are now somewhat restricted. The principles behind the “Fair Code Movement” are for the code to be:
1.Free and sustainable
2.Open but pragmatic
4.Meritocratic and fair
“This offers the best of both worlds. The freedom and openness of open source combined withthe ability to build a sustainable business,” said Oberhauser.
“n8n is trying to become the gold standard for workflow automation freeing up human capacityfrom executing mundane tasks,” said Sam Endacott, investor at firstminute focusing onenterprise software.
“Jan is a deep product-thinker and the community traction since launchshows how strong the demand is for a developer-first approach with an intuitive userexperience.”
With the new funds, n8n plans to strengthen its team, invest in its community, and launch acloud-based offering that enables anyone to begin automating their workflows in a matter ofminutes.
n8n (https://n8n.io/) is a free and open node-based Workflow Automation Tool. It can be self-hosted,easily extended, and used with third party web applications or custom in-house tools to automaterepetitive tasks. With n8n, for the first time, people can move beyond simple integrations to build multi-step workflows that combine both 3rd party APIs and your own internal tools to create easy to use automations that snap together all the pieces of what would otherwise be very complex, disconnected systems. n8n is headquartered in Berlin and was founded by Jan Oberhauser in 2019.
Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies from idea to IPO and beyond. We spurfounders to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from48 years of tribal knowledge from working with founders like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, JanKoum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko, Julia Hartz and Jack Dorsey. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. From the beginning,the vast majority of money we invest has been on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means founders’ accomplishments make a meaningful difference.
firstminute (www.firstminute.capital) is a $100m pan-European seed fund. It counts the London-based venture fund Atomico, the Chinese tech giant Tencent and the European FMCG conglomerate Henkel asinstitutional investors, along with 30 founders of billion dollar technology businesses.
About Runa Capital
Runa Capital (www.runacap.com) is an international venture capital firm headquartered in Palo Alto,California and has a strong trackrecord investing in open source products like Nginx, MariaDB or pm2 thatare used by millions of engineers around the world.