Singapore-based startup frontend development platform, Locofy, backed by Accel, has launched Lightning, a cutting-edge tool designed to simplify and expedite the coding process for user interfaces and experiences.
Automating Frontend Development with Lightning
Locofy’s Lightning, a Figma plugin, utilizes the startup’s Large Design Models (LDMs) to transform Figma and AdobeXD prototypes into functional code with just one click. The founders, Honey Mittal and Sohaib Muhammed, draw parallels to OpenAI’s pioneering of LLMs before ChatGPT introduced them globally. Recognizing the challenges posed by developer shortages leading to lost revenue and burnout, they developed Lightning to address these issues.
Streamlining Processes for Lean Startups
Claiming to automate nearly 80% of frontend development, Lightning enables developers at lean startups to focus on core activities like running their businesses and bringing products to market. Initially launching for Figma, the tool will later expand to support other design tools, including AdobeXD, Penpot, Sketch, Wix, and potentially Canva and Notion.
Strategic Investment in Lightning’s Development
Locofy invested over $1 million in the development of Lightning, aiming to assist startups and customer-focused enterprises with small teams in accelerating their frontend development. The tool, along with its LDMs, was crafted in-house and trained on a dataset comprising millions of designs.
Evolution from Locofy Classic to Lightning
Locofy initially introduced Locofy Classic in 2021, involving a five-step process for users. Recognizing the potential for automation, Mittal and Muhammed employed various AI-based techniques, including image-based neural networks, multimodal transformers, graph-based neural networks, sequence-to-sequence models, stack-pointer networks, heuristic models, and LLMs. This resulted in the creation of a Unified Large Design Model with close to half a billion parameters.
Future Plans for Locofy and Monetization
Founded back in 2021, to date, Locofy has raised $7.5 million from investors like Accel and Northstar Ventures. Beyond design-to-code, the company plans to expand its platform to include tools for building design systems, utilizing public UI libraries, integrating with backends through Github Copilot and CI-CD, and introducing an AI assistant for designers. Locofy, which has been in free beta for two years, aims to monetize in 2024, with a unique pricing model based on factors such as the number of screens or components converted to code and regular maintenance with AI.