Low-Code / No-Code


Power Score: 40.48 Momentum Score: 41.00 (9) HQ: Mclean, VA CEO: Matt Calkins


Valuation: $5.01 billion (-53.7% YoY)

Amt. Raised: $10 million


Lobbying Spend: $0

Industry Orgs: No


Headcount: 1826 (+20.3% YoY)

Engineering Headcount: 392 (+15% YoY)

Big Tech Experience: 2.8%

Open Roles: 379


R&D Spending: $89.9 million (+34% YoY)

Patents Applied For: 0

Patents Owned: 6

Acquisitions: Lana Labs (August 2021), Novayre Solutions (January 2020)


Exec Team Exits: No

Diversity Data?: No

ESG/CSR Data?: No

On Power

If other low-code/no-code vendors are trying to help companies build propeller planes, Appian is trying to build 747s. Appian focuses on building low-code tools for mission-critical applications that are complex and time-consuming to build, preferring to leave “quick fix” applications for other vendors to solve. Once companies start using Appian, they don’t seem to want to break up with it: The company’s enterprise and federal customers stay with it 99% of the time. That loyalty played out in terms of how much revenue the company pulled in in 2021, with a 20% increase through the first nine months of the year compared to 2020. However, Appian’s balance sheet wasn’t all good news, with net losses also growing in the same time period to more than $62 million.

On Disruption

Appian has historically been popular with developers at large enterprises, but the company wants to bring those people together. It recently revamped Appian Community Edition to convene developers in a shared space, expand free training and demos to new users and open its platform to its next generation of customers, trying to grow its customer base rather than focusing on existing customers via a “land and expand” strategy that is popular in the enterprise space. This shift towards a freemium model has proven popular elsewhere and could give Appian’s longtime customers a chance to mirror successful developer communities that serve as the backbone for companies like GitHub and GitLab.

Tea Leaves

Appian’s stock took a wild trip last year, twice gaining more than 50% in a month, followed by an end-of-year crash after disappointing earnings. The company has benefitted from short squeezes and a general rise in the low-code market during the pandemic, but looking ahead, Appian is aiming to recover via an increased focus on low-code automation targeted at the company’s existing customers. The company is also losing its CFO at the end of March as part of a planned transition, so a new finance chief will be one of the many employees Appian adds to its continued hiring spree.

They Said It

“At the low end, maybe low-code is popular because it's empowering. At the high end, it's popular because it enables agility. It's exceptionally fast to build a low-code application and to change it. That's an important thing now for mission critical applications, they can't afford to be rigid anymore like they used to.”–CEO Matt Calkins in a November 2021 interview

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Low-Code / No-Code