n8n – Workflow Automation
- Company name: n8n GmbH
- Industry: Software, Workflow Automation
- Formation: 2019
- Location: Berlin, Germany
- Subscription based model since: in the planning
- Number of employees: approx. 10
- Turnover: Not specified
- Total funding: 1. Seed round with approx. 1.5 mio. US$
- Product costs: So far designed as self-hosted software, not as a SaaS tool. The hosted variant (n8n.cloud) to finance the project is to be introduced soon.
n8n was founded by Jan Oberhauser in Berlin in 2019. With n8n’s workflow automation, users can connect various web applications via API and trigger workflows via various triggers, even without programming knowledge.
n8n – a start-up for workflow automation
n8n (pronounced: nodemation)
The Berlin-based company n8n was founded by Jan Oberhauser in Berlin in 2019. The start-up currently employs six people, and more are to follow, especially in the area of development. The start-up scene became aware of n8n primarily through its funding: The well-known investor Sequoia Capital has invested 600,000 euros in the company.
The well-known backer has already invested in many tech giants such as Instagram, Whatsapp or PayPal. However, Sequoia Capital has only very rarely invested in German companies so far. In total, founder Jan Oberhauser was able to win 1.5 million US dollars in chapters in the first seed round through other investors such as Runa Capital, firstminute, Philipp Moehring and System.One. The backer Sequoia Capital justifies its investment with the increasing demand for workflow automation in almost all industries.
The Zapier alternative to self-hosting
The target group of n8n are companies that rely on the automation of workflows. The software from n8n enables users to connect various web applications via API and to trigger workflows via various triggers, even without programming knowledge. Data can be synchronised between more than 90 applications, powerful workflows can be set up and custom integrations (nodes) can be created.
The free and open node-based workflow automation tool is self-hosted and easy to extend. With n8n, users can go beyond simple integrations and create multi-level workflows that combine both third-party APIs and your own internal tools. In this way, users have easy-to-use automations that put all the pieces of otherwise very complex, disconnected systems together.
Since its launch on Github, n8n has seen tremendous user adoption and community engagement. n8n ist derzeit unter Apache 2.0 mit Commons Clause lizenziert. The company is an early proponent of the “fair code movement”. Therefore, n8n provides developers with access and underlying source code. The product is not just for developers, however, but has an intuitive user interface that allows even non-technical users to automate tasks. For example, a CRM can be linked to Slack or email. For more complex solutions, an example would be the creation of data models with real-time data inputs.
The big difference to other automation solutions like Zapier is that the software is designed for self-hosting and is not launched as a SaaS tool. However, in order to secure funding for the project and promote further growth, a hosted version of n8n is also planned.
The future of workflow automation
Manual workflows can easily disrupt or slow down operations. Lack of visibility and dependencies on employees make companies vulnerable to a variety of bottlenecks that lead to inefficiencies. Automating workflows protects against potential barriers. Not only does automation save time, recurring tasks are completed automatically, cannot be forgotten and require no further time investment. Of course, this does not only apply in the area of workflow automation. Automating other processes also has the same advantages. For example, in subscription business models , automating subscription management, recurring billing und der recurring payments can also save massive amounts of time and money.