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From Google Cloud startup, to $1B company: startup advice from Replit's Amjad Masad

June 21, 2023
Helene Ambiana

Global SMB & Startups Marketing Director

In our daily lives we are already seeing examples of the game changing possibilities of generative AI. From coding and customer support automation to marketing content creation (including this blog, written with the help of gen AI), we are at the very beginning of the power of gen AI and the startup opportunities it will drive. 

That’s why we were excited to have Amjad Masad, founder and CEO of Replit, the popular AI-based software development platform, participate in the keynote at Google Cloud’s recent Startup Summit. Since Replit’s founding in 2016, Masad has scaled Replit to support 22 million software creators across every programming language. We heard about Replit’s journey, what it takes to become a successful startup, and how Google Cloud has supported them in their journey. 

Putting customers first 

Early inspiration for Masad came from his exposure to Google Docs where he was amazed at the ease and power of its collaboration capabilities. He set out to build a platform that could make coding as easy as possible for developers. He shares that “One of our guiding principles is that it should not take you hours and hours just to set up software just to start coding. It should be fun, interactive and creative.” 

Replit is extremely focused on their customers. With Replit, anyone, anywhere can sign up and start writing code. By making it easy to get started, removing tedious tasks and making services available at your fingertips, Replit enables developers to focus on value-add activities. That means that these tools are about more than just coding; they can free developers up to focus on their vocation and new opportunities, possibly changing their lives in the process. 

Innovating at speed 

Rapid innovation is also essential. To succeed, Masad says a bias for speed and the ability to quickly iterate is critical, citing it as “the number one predictor of startup success.” This includes a process of ongoing review of customer feedback and pushing out updates week over week. Replit’s recently introduced mobile app, aims to do just that — allowing developers to code anywhere - creating, sharing, and hosting software from the palm of their hands, a process made easier with generative AI and AI-based coding suggestions based on context. Soon, with just a few voice commands, the app will help developers generate an entirely new app.

Masad also explains that to be competitive you must be open — but to stay open, you need to invest in safety and security. Google Cloud is built on a secure and scalable foundation, making it a great fit for Replit. With one click you can spin up a Google VM of any size, removing huge “getting started” barriers for developers. Today, Replit operates millions of VMs to its customers in more than 190 countries, from the same infrastructure on which Replit started with Google Cloud. For generative AI, Replit now leverages Vertex AI and for its Ghostwriter coding assistance tools on this very same infrastructure. 

There has never been a better time for startups

Early on, the Replit team chose to partner with Google Cloud. They took advantage of the Google for Startups Cloud Program, which includes benefits such as access to experts, training, and Google Cloud credits. Masad credits Google Cloud’s startup program for giving his company a head start, stating, “Everyone says they have a startup program, but hands-down Google Cloud’s is the best. It's sort of bittersweet that we're no longer in the early stage, so that we can make use of it.” 

According to Masad, it has never been a better time to start a startup, “You need fewer people to get the job done and can spend more time focusing on your customers.” Replit is on its way, with a mission to empower the next billion software developers. At Google Cloud, we hope to be part of the foundation that enables this great work and these great opportunities. 

Check out the full keynote session with Amjad Masad and sign up for the Google for Startups Cloud Program which includes additional benefits for AI startups. AI benefits include up to $350k in Google Cloud credits over two years, dedicated technical support, hands-on AI training, AI webinars/workshops, exclusive events, and more.

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