Billion Dollar Unicorns: OutSystems Finally Joins The Club

According to a MarketsandMarkets report published earlier this year, the global market for low-code development platform is estimated to grow from $4.3 billion in 2017 to $27.23 billion by 2022. That translates to an annualized growth rate of nearly 45% over the next few years. OutSystems has been a long-term player in this market. But it is only recently that it entered the Billion Dollar Unicorn club.

OutSystems’s Offerings

Lisbon, Portugal-based OutSystems was founded in 2001 by current CEO and entrepreneur Paul Rosado. Paul wanted to build a startup to solve a problem that customers weren’t even aware of 17 years ago. He wanted to allow for rapid development of applications by building a low-code platform to support that.

Paul realized the need for a platform like OutSystems through his experience at his Internet infrastructure company. He noted that IT projects were not finished on-time and on-budget because users kept trying to improve the requirements analysis until they could make the product work. He realized that people assumed that systems have interfaces for large numbers of users that can be defined correctly up front. But since these systems are built in .NET or Java, they become very difficult to change once the code has been written. He wanted to create a platform that would allow IT projects to be flexible. It adopted the concept of rapid application development paradigms where they designed an environment that could accommodate fast, dramatic changes without breaking the system.

OutSystems developed its first product in 2002. The initial product was focused on the telecommunications sector. Soon, it secured its first client – the Portuguese telecommunications company Optimus. It expanded into other telecom providers within Europe in the next few years. Gradually, the company grew into other industries. In the years to come, OutSystems continued to align with the changing times and from a license-based model, it shifted to a cloud subscription-based model.

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Disclaimer: More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion ...

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