The last few decades of SaaS were a race to become the incumbent system of record. The winning strategy was to build a central repository of customer data. Today, there are a number of scaled incumbents for every major category: CRMs, accounting, HR, etc.
The next wave of SaaS apps will unlock greater value by building systems of engagement (SoE) on top of systems of records (SoR). We’re still in the early stages of this secular trend which is now being accelerated by AI.
Integrating into systems of record (SoR) – like Salesforce, HubSpot, and NetSuite – remains challenging for developers. There rarely exists clean and standardized APIs. Developers have to reverse engineer customer-specific configurations for each instance of a system of record. This approach is brittle and hard to monitor. The net effect on engineering teams is that resources must be diverted away from core and differentiated user needs into building and maintaining integrations. Additionally, engineering becomes a bottleneck for go-to-market teams who need certain integrations to close deals.
Ampersand is solving this problem, and we’re thrilled to be leading their seed round!
Building robust integrations necessitates a developer-first approach. Integrations are tightly coupled with business logic and need to be managed as part of the software lifecycle. Ampersand abstracts away all this complexity into a simple developer tool. The core interface of Ampersand is a yaml file where developers define the type of integration, type of data, configuration values available to your end users, and how you'd like to connect it to the rest of your stack (via direct connection to your data store, HTTP calls, or both). This yaml file also drives an embedded UI experience that lets your end users customize and manage their integrations.
There's not a better duo for this task. Ayan and Lauren were both separately working on the idea for Ampersand and joined forces to bring this vision to life. Ayan is a third time founder who has personally faced the challenge of building integrations several times in his entrepreneurial journey. Lauren is native to the problem and solution space having worked as the founding tech lead of Firebase Extensions. When we first met Ayan and Lauren, we were drawn to their product thinking and depth of insight.
They’re building an amazing team and we’re thrilled to be a part of the journey!