Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital fund in Southeast Asia (SEA) founded by Silicon Valley natives, has injected a second round of investment into Locofy.ai, a platform that converts graphic designs into working code with AI. Other investors joined the round, including experienced SME technopreneurs from Dropbox, Lottiefiles and Zopim. The US$4.25m investment is one of SEA’s largest pre-seed rounds into an AI startup.
Golden Gate Ventures first spotted Locofy.ai’s potential early on, identifying the startup’s ability to tap into the ever-growing low-code platform market and participating in Locofy.ai’s first institutional investment round in 2021.
“The early-stage investment scene is all about identifying trends ahead of an inflection point, and to be the first in: the first institutional investor into the startup, at the right time. Our investments into the AI space pre-date the buzz around ChatGPT. Being FirstIN enables us to help founders ahead of anyone else and yields higher returns for our investors,” said Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures.
Off the back of the firm’s FirstIN strategy is a long list of successes including, Rukita, Bukuwarung, Homage, Vui and Multiplier – where Golden Gate Ventures was the first institutional investor and has continued to support the startups across multiple funding rounds.
What informs the firm’s early investment strategy is the combination of the partners’ SEA and Silicon Valley experience, coupled with Golden Gate Ventures’ Brain – our data-driven market predictions platform based on data and insights the firm has amassed over a decade.
“We’ve used data to identify niche opportunities in the AI space. Golden Gate Ventures’ Brain platform is designed to mine data points across markets, industries and changing economic conditions, uncovering unexpected patterns that our partners leverage to identify specific types of startups that we proactively search for in the market,” said Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures.
“Based on our Golden Gate Ventures’ Brain platform and partners’ insights, we started investing in AI startups over five years ago when most of the market was skeptical about their return-on-investment. AI is going to dramatically transform go-to-market strategies and accelerate e-commerce development at an exponential rate. We will see an unrivalled rate of innovation, which coincides perfectly with the rising consumer class across SEA’s fast-growing economies,” Vinnie Lauria adds.
Locofy.ai is one of several strategic AI investments Golden Gate Ventures has made even before the AI fever caught on in the region.
“Low-code presents a huge opportunity as more people outside of IT leverage its vast potential and it becomes more ubiquitous. Locofy-ai has a strong first-mover advantage with a huge global user base that is continuously helping to improve the platform. The cross-section of users encompassing developers, enterprises, startups, freelancers and student communities already demonstrates its stickiness and ability to integrate seamlessly with other tools,” said Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures.
Locofy.ai is a low-code development tool in public beta, which assists developers worldwide in building and managing their frontend at speed. It accelerates web and mobile app development by 5 – 10 times with its design-to-code conversion platform that helps designers automate frontend code directly from their designs and extend into existing workflows. It currently converts Figma and Adobe XD designs into React, React Native, HTML-CSS, Gatsby and Next.js code with AI.
Its latest round of funding, which brings Locofy.ai’s total to $7.3m raised since its incorporation in 2021, will accelerate the startup’s plans to simplify the design to code conversion significantly with AI, while adding more integrations to the platform to seamlessly fit in the workflows. With recent integrations with Storybook, Github, Netlify, Vercel and Snack, Locofy.ai bridges the chasm between designers and developers, enabling developers to iterate designs and code more naturally.
In addition to securing this latest round of funding, Locofy.ai has made strategic hires to support its ambitious development plans. Tien Nguyen, ex-CTO at Wego and Teko, will be joining as Vice President of Engineering; leading data scientist, ex-Founder of SWAT and AI advisor to top startups, Nick Jachowski, will be joining as Head of AI; and Nguyen Kien, ex-Director of Engineering at TIKI, will be taking on the role of Head of Engineering.
About Golden Gate Ventures
Golden Gate Ventures is a global venture capital firm powering technology and innovation from Southeast Asia. Founded in 2011, Golden Gate Ventures combines the knowledge and experience of Silicon Valley with the passion and dynamism of Southeast Asia. For over a decade we’ve proudly backed some of the region’s most audacious founders and companies behind Southeast Asia’s incredible growth story, such as Carousell, Coda Payments, Carro, Xendit, Paper.id, Alodokter, Homage, Hijra, Rukita, and Locofy. We empower the audacious. For more information, visit goldengate.vc.