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: a middle ground between using rigid templates and building and maintaining each one individually. part of a web’s technical stack from the start. 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.
story block — a startup founded in Linz, Austria, which has built a headless CMS designed for both technical and non-technical users such as marketers to manage content displayed on websites, apps and other digital interfaces for education, commerce, gaming and other 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 being used by several other 74,000 companies, including Netflix, Adidas, T-Mobile, Happy Socks and Deliveroo, who have built some 120,000 projects on top of them.
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 will not disclose 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 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 that leveraged innovations around APIs to plug in complex technical processes created a new approach to construction sites (“headless” the term was coined by the founder of Commercetools, who, as the name implies, is the idea initially to building e-commerce sites). But these still posed a pain point for the wider organization: Headless in this sense, the highly technical and complex backend for managing payments and databases may no longer have to be built, but not the technicalities of building or populating the front of site.
This is where Storyblok comes in: “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 needed developers to build and maintain content, so their solution was to build out modules to run the site. blocks that would initially be programmed by developers (either at the company in question or by a network of 1,000 third parties in a marketplace operating Storyblok), but that could then be updated and otherwise manipulated by marketers.
The end result has gained a lot of appeal, 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 its mission as part of the wave of low-code and no-code tools: developers still need to be involved to build the first 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 have joined the Storyblok system to create those tools that others can use if they wish.