Honestly, think about it for second, ask yourselves, how efficient is the collaboration between your design team and the development squad? The designer draws one thing, and the programmers produce something totally different, and everyone ends up blaming each other. An Israeli company named Anima wants to relieve the stress and allow designers to export code to the programming team, without needing to learn how to code or switching between different unfamiliar programming languages.
It’s business as usual for all teams involved
Once a designer finishes his work, it then gets exported to the programming team, who need to translate design into code, and into an actual product. You can imagine the logjam of backed up pending projects, slowing down the whole process. Anima’s system plugs in as a perfect solution for both teams, as it allows the design team to continue working with their regular software and digital tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma, and once the project is finished on their end, just turn on the plug-in extension and export the code. Furthermore, exporting doesn’t end with a few stills, but rather an active prototype that includes animation, files, and project assets.
Just like the design team, the programmers can continue with the same customized framework they’re used to, while Anima’s system saves the design to code translation grunt work.
Anima was founded in 2017 by CEO Avishay Cohen; CPO Michal Cohen; and CTO Or Arbel. Avishay and Michal Cohen first met while serving in the army. Then the couple met Arbel during their studies at Ben Gurion University. Later on, Arbel pulled Avishay to join him on a search engine project at Mobili, which led to Cohen inheriting Arbel’s position, when he ventured off to start his controversial project, Yo.
If the name rings a bell, we’ll remind you that Yo became quite a sensation in the mobile and programming world due to it originally being some kind of April Fool’s joke. Its whole purpose was to send other users a message that says Yo, similar to Facebook’s poke. By leveraging the hype around them at the time, the company was able to raise a few million dollars until things eventually died down.
The Cohens and Arbel reunited again, when they were accepted as a team into the 2018 program of the most prestigious accelerator in the world, Y-Combinator. In a conversation with Geektime, the three tell that they moved all together into an apartment in Sunnyville, and developed Anima in 6 months from the first lines of code and until they had a functioning product. “Back in 2019, we saw teams from IBM, Verizon, SalesForce, BlueJeans, and many others join our customer list,” the three remember.
Founder and CEO Avishay Cohen explains that the company was able to conquer one of the toughest challenges it had faced, this year: “The CSS structure changes to Flexbox automatically, despite the fact that designers work with Absolute Position,” he explains. “It’s very difficult to do technologically, but nevertheless a necessity to provide programmers with quality code. No other product offers this capability, and programmers love it.”
Thursday marked the company’s completion of a $2.5 million Seed funding round, led by Zohar Gilon, one of Israel’s leading and most important investors, along with Hetz Ventures. The trio first met Hetz Ventures’ partner Pavel Livshiz in NYC, when they graduated from the Y-Combinator. “Once we decided to fundraise, there was a natural connection,” Cohen explains. “We were introduced to Zohar Gilon through entrepreneur friends of ours, who received investment from Zohar, and also with him, an immediate connection formed.”
Livshiz commented on the investment by his firm: “For a long time now, we have been searching for a company to revolutionize the No Code zone, and everything related to Front End developing. Avishay, Or, and Michal have proven beyond only possessing a vision, the three posses the abilities to realize the Anima dream.”
It’s hard not to see the resemblance to Yo and its rapid growth, only to disappear into the startup junkyard. Arbel tells Geektime that “we believe that fundraising at too early of a stage can distract from making a quality product and market fit,” which is lightyears away from the image that Yo put out there.
Arbel explains that the company learned from the startup model “to keep focus”. “When the life of the company rests on revenue, you must lean, make the needed adjustments, and provide immediate value for your users.” Arbel continues to explain that Anima began earning in 2018, and in 2019 the company experienced major revenue growth. “We raised $2.5 million, along with the steadily growing monthly revenue, allowed us to increase our team up to 15 people, and executing the initial marketing budgets.” And still today, the company is looking for employees.
In contrast to Yo, which was intended for Consumer market, Arbel explains that Anima is targeting the B2B SaaS market: “The Bottom-up marketing model we’ve deployed at Anima is directly impacted from the world of Consumer. Anima’s product is intended for the designing and programming end users. Our goals are on the organizational level but we want to penetrate through the teams, in what’s called product-led-growth.” The company further reveals that among its customers are market giants such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Cisco, LG, Walmart, eBay, and more.