Thanks to advancements in “headless” systems that provide more flexibility around 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 tech stack from the ground up—the world of web development is continuing to become more democratized and creative. On the strength of several significant client wins, one of the firms developing headless technologies expressly for content management today announces a significant amount of investment.
Storyblok, an Austrian startup that has developed a headless CMS for managing content that appears across websites, apps, and other digital interfaces for educational, commercial, gaming, and other types of publishers, has raised $47 million. With the money, the company plans to continue adding features to its CMS platform.
More than 74,000 businesses, including Netflix, Adidas, T-Mobile, Happy Socks, and Deliveroo, currently utilize the company’s technologies. These businesses have developed more than 120,000 projects on top of them, such as side missions in games, advertising features in applications, and other projects.
Mubadala Capital and HV Capital are leading the Series B, with participation from 3VC and firstminute Capital. This funding comes after a $8.5 million Series A led by Mubadala in February 2021. To date, Storyblok has raised $58 million, but it is keeping its worth a secret. Storyblok competes with a number of other headless CMS providers, including Contentful, Prismic, Contentstack, Strapi, and many more, but CEO and co-founder Dominik Angerer thinks his business represents a new era of innovation in web development.
Companies like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix revolutionized the way consumers could choose from a wide variety of themes when creating websites years ago. The term “headless” was coined by the founder of Commercetools, which as its name implies applied the idea initially to the building of e-commerce sites. More recently, a newer set of startups, leveraging innovations around APIs to plug in complex technical processes, created a new and more flexible approach to building sites.
Though headless in this sense may have eliminated the need to build the extremely technical and complex back-end components of managing payments and databases, it did not eliminate the technicalities of building or populating the front end of sites. These still represented a pain point for the larger organization. This is when Storyblok enters the narrative. Its platform may be utilized by non-technical persons, such as marketers, thanks to pre-built modules that function as “blocks” that can be updated but also modified by them. This system represents a new generation of headless development.
When Angerer and his co-founder Alexander Feiglstorfer saw that the systems in use at the time still needed engineers to generate and manage content, which ultimately still put a great deal of operational load on enterprises, they came up with the idea. They came up with the idea of modules, which allowed anybody to update and otherwise change the blocks after they had been first written by coders. The initial blocks may be created by developers who work for the corporation in question or outside firms. A marketplace with 1,000 third parties is what Storyblok itself offers. The ultimate result is a variety of templates where marketers work independently on content while concurrently updating developers.