Storyblok raises $47 million to build its headless CMS aimed at non-technical users like marketers – TechCrunch

The world of web development continues to become increasingly democratized – and more creative – thanks to innovations in “headless” systems that give more flexibility in how a website can look and work: a compromise between using rigid templates and building and maintaining each component of a web’s technology stack from the ground up. Today, one of the startups building headless tools specifically for content management is announcing a major funding round based on key customer achievements.

Storyblok — a startup founded in Linz, Austria, that built a headless CMS designed for technical and non-technical users, such as marketers, to manage content that appears on websites, apps, and other digital interfaces for education, commerce, games, and more types of publishers — raised $47 million, funding that will be used to continue expanding its CMS platform with more functionality. The company’s tools are already used by 74,000 other companies, including Netflix, Adidas, T-Mobile, Happy Socks and Deliveroo, which collectively have built around 120,000 projects on top of it.

Series B is being led by Mubadala Capital and HV Capital, with 3VC and first-minute capital also participating. The funding follows an $8.5 million Series A in February 2021, also led by Mubadala. Storyblok has raised $58 million to date and is not disclosing its assessment.

There are a number of headless CMS providers in the world today – companies like Contentful, Prismic, Contentstack, Strapi and many more – that compete with Storyblok, but CEO and co-founder Dominik Angerer believes his company represents a new wave of web innovation. development.

Years ago, companies like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix broke new ground in how users can select from a dynamic array of templates when building websites. More recently, a new set of startups has taken advantage of innovations around APIs to connect complex technical processes, creating a new approach to building websites (“headless”, the term was coined by the founder of Commercetools, which as its name implies applied the idea initially for building e-commerce sites). But this still posed a pain point for the wider organization: headless in this sense might have eliminated the need to build the very technical and complex backend of managing payments and databases, but not the technical aspects of building or populating it. the front end of websites.

This is where Storyblok comes into the picture: “Headless” systems represent a new generation of web development: a headless CMS that can also be used by non-technical people like marketers. Angerer and his co-founder Alexander Feiglstorfer got the idea in 2017 when they saw that the systems in use at the time still required developers to build and maintain content, so their solution was to build modules to manage the site, blocks that would initially be programmed by developers ( either within the company in question or by a network of 1,000 third parties in a marketplace that Storyblok operates), but which could be otherwise updated and manipulated by marketers.

The end result has had a lot of traction in part because of how it addresses this significant gap that exists in many organizations: those who need to touch content on websites most often are often not the technical teams, but the ones managing the content. And as digital content proliferates across a wide variety of formats and screens – games and apps, smartphones and watches, this requires even more input from less technical teams and more pressure on developer teams.

“We’ve been a huge believer in Storyblok since day one, and the speed with which the company has been able to scale since our investment in Series A has been remarkable. Storyblok’s strong organic traction is a real testament to the quality of the product that Dominik and Alex have built, and we’re excited to continue our partnership with the Storyblok team,” Fatou Bintou Sagnang, partner at Mubadala Capital Ventures, said in a statement.

The company doesn’t see its mission as part of the wave of low-code and no-code tools: developers still need to be involved to build the starting blocks that marketers can upgrade.

Angerer sees developing the headless framework and focusing on these blocks as part of “its core functionality,” he said. “So switching to codeless tool building would feel like a betrayal of that mission.”

However, third parties have connected to the Storyblok system to create these tools for others to use if they want to.

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