Storyblok raises $47 million to build out its headless CMS, targeting non-tech users like marketers – TechCrunch

The world of web development is becoming more democratized – and more creative – thanks to innovations in ‘headless’ systems that give more flexibility over how a site can look and function: an API-based middle ground between using rigid templates and building and maintaining every single component of a web’s technical stack from the ground up. Today, one of the startups building headless tools specifically for content management is announcing a major round of funding based on some key customer gains.

Storyblok — a startup founded in Linz, Austria, that has built a headless CMS designed for both technical and non-technical users such as marketers to manage content that appears on websites, apps, and other digital interfaces for education, commerce, gaming, and others. types of publishers — has raised $47 million, funding it will use to further expand its CMS platform with more functionality. The company’s tools are already used by several other 74,000 companies, including Netflix, Adidas, T-Mobile, Happy Socks and Deliveroo, who have collectively built some 120,000 projects on top of them, including the content on websites that need to be updated regularly. ; side quests in games; advertising features in apps and more.

The Series B is led by Mubadala Capital and HV Capital, which also includes 3VC and firstminute capital. The financing follows an $8.5 million Series A in February 2021, also led by Mubadala. Storyblok has raised $58 million so far and is not disclosing the valuation.

There are a number of headless CMS providers in the world today — companies such as Contentful, Prismic, Contentstack, Strapi, and many more — competing with Storyblok, but CEO and co-founder Dominik Angerer believes his company is launching a new wave of innovation in represents the internet. development.

Years ago, companies like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix pioneered the way users could choose from a dynamic array of templates when building websites. More recently, a newer slew of startups, leveraging innovations around APIs to plug in complex technical processes, created a new and more flexible approach to site building (“headless” the term was coined by the founder of Commercetools, which as the name mentioned, initially applied the idea to building e-commerce sites). But these still posed a pain point for the wider organization: headless in this sense may have removed the need to build the highly technical and complex back-end components for managing payments and databases, but not the technicalities of building or populating them. from the front-end of locations.

This is where Storyblok comes into the story. The system represents a new generation of headless development, where the platform can also be used by non-technical people such as marketers, through pre-built modules that work as “blocks” that can be updated as well as manipulated by them. 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, which ultimately still put a lot of operational pressure on organizations. Modules was their solution to that: the blocks would initially be programmed by developers, but could then be updated and manipulated by anyone. (The developers creating the initial blocks may be with the company in question, or may come from an outside agency. Storyblok itself offers a network of 1,000 third parties in a marketplace.)

The end result looks like this, a series of templates where marketers provide updates to developers but also work on the content independently:

Storyblok has seen a lot of traction, in part because of the way it closes that important gap that exists in many organizations: those who have to touch the content of sites most often are usually not the technical teams, but the ones who manage the content. And as digital content spreads to a wider variety of formats and screens – games and apps, smartphones and watches, it requires even more input from the less tech teams and puts more pressure on developer teams.

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

The company doesn’t see itself as part of the wave of low-code and no-code tools: developers still need to be involved to build the initial blocks that marketers can then update.

Angerer sees developing the headless structure and focusing on those blocks as part of “its core functionality,” he said. “So switching to building no-code tools would feel like a betrayal of that mission.” However, third parties are hooked up to the Storyblok system to create those tools that others can use if they want to. (One example, he said, is Instant Commerce, which has built an integration on top of Storyblok that combines design components from Storyblok’s content management functionality with Shopify’s e-commerce functionality.)

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