Headless CMS has become increasingly popular due to its inherent flexibility to display content on any type of device without maintaining individual applications for each. Content is stored in a repository and using an API, the content is presented to the front-end unlike other CMS systems, like WordPress, where the back-end and front-end are coupled, which results in complexities repurposing content for several different channels and mediums. However, headless architecture has not traditionally been user-friendly for those who are not technical as headless typically doesn’t allow one to easily visualize the impact of changes on the fly. Storyblok solves this problem with its headless CMS platform that is integrated with a native visual editing experience, making the solution ideal for both developers and marketers. Changes only need to be made once on the back-end and any presence is immediately updated whether it be a website, app, IoT application, or AR/VR app. The company currently powers over 60,000 projects including working with brands like Pizza Hut and Adidas.
London TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Dominik Angerer to learn more about the power of headless technology, the company’s expansion plans, and latest funding round, which brings the total funding raised to $11M since 2017.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Storyblok has raised $8.5M in a Series A round led by Mubadala Capital with existing Storyblok investors firstminute capital and 3VC also contributing.
Storyblok is a headless CMS for developers and marketers to deliver content experiences on any digital platform. It is the world’s first headless CMS built for both developers and business users.
It enables developers and marketers to deliver powerful content experiences on any digital platform, one block at a time. Developers create flexible components that are independently managed by content teams using a visual editor and customizable workflow. Published content is available through an API, so changes are made once and will appear everywhere: websites, mobile, IoT, AR/VR, and beyond.
Our clients include large enterprises such as Pizza Hut, Adidas, UPC, Greggs, and Decathlon and tens of thousands of solo developers. We are currently powering more than 60,000 projects across 130 countries and recorded a six-fold increase in enterprise client growth in 2020.
What inspired the start of Storyblok?
I founded Storyblok with Alexander Feiglstorfer in 2017. During our day job at an agency, we noticed how headless CMS technology offered huge benefits to businesses but adoption was relatively slow. Our view was that the problem wasn’t the technology, it was the complexity of the platforms. They were being built for highly technical audiences such as developers, rather than the regular users of these platforms such as marketers. As a result, we wanted to build the world’s first headless CMS that works for both developers and business users. To this end, we decided to focus on offering a unique combination of visual editing tools and highly customizable content blocks for marketers on top of a modern headless architecture that gives developers the flexibility to build fast and reliable digital platforms.
How is it different?
In contrast to other headless CMS solutions which are flexible for developers but can be difficult for editors to use due to limitations visualising content changes, Storyblok’s CMS provides highly customizable content blocks and a visual editor. It is the first CMS to integrate these features directly into a modern headless architecture.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
We are using our Series A to fund product development and our international expansion. We will start by launching two hubs this year in Germany and Ireland. These hubs will service the DACH region and the UK. Germany and the UK are two of the biggest markets for our services in the world.
What’s your business model?
Our platform works for big corporations and solo developers alike. Users pay a monthly or yearly subscription, based on the number of editors and developers working with Storyblok and the features needed.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
Alexander and I moved to London to be part of the FoundersFactory acceleration program in January of 2020. With Covid accelerating, we decided to move everything back to home-offices and a full remote set-up. Thanks to the fantastic team at FoundersFactory, we completed the accelerator program without any significant issues. From a business side, we are in the lucky position that due to the accelerated growth of e-commerce, we could grow faster than before.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The biggest challenge was to find the right partner that would both see our potential right away and have extensive knowledge in our market. We are glad that we could find a partner that brings more to the table than just money – in the end, you want someone that can help you beyond that.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
There’s naturally a lot of factors involved in making these decisions. I believe our strong track record over the past 12 months was pretty important. The marketing industry, like most of the rest of the economy, has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, Storyblok has actually performed incredibly well despite these headwinds. We are currently powering more than 60,000 projects across 130 countries and recorded a six-fold increase in enterprise client growth in 2020. Not only does this prove that there is a clear and growing market for our solution, but it also showcases the resilience and hard work of our team. I think both of these factors made Storyblok a solid investment.
The marketing industry, like most of the rest of the economy, has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, Storyblok has actually performed incredibly well despite these headwinds. We are currently powering more than 60,000 projects across 130 countries and recorded a six-fold increase in enterprise client growth in 2020. Not only does this prove that there is a clear and growing market for our solution, but it also showcases the resilience and hard work of our team. I think both of these factors made Storyblok a solid investment.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We intend to expand our platform by introducing new features including a new custom design system for third parties, agency partner listing, geo-location filtering, and typed GraphQL support. We also plan to grow our international team and begin its global expansion with sales offices set to open in Germany and the Republic of Ireland.
What advice can you offer companies in London that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
That’s a tough question – the answer would be unique to each of the businesses. However, I’m more than happy to connect with any company that needs advice either on LinkedIn or Twitter to see if we can be of any help.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our focus is going to be on expanding our platform and moving forward with our international growth. We’ll be hiring a lot of new team members and putting in place the infrastructure we need to continue to scale rapidly.