Strapi raises $10M led by Index Ventures for open source CMS

The ways in which you create, manage and deploy content are evolving at high speed; one of the companies at the forefront of this movement is open source darling Strapi (1M downloads on npm, 25K stars on GitHub, 400+ contributors, 13K commits etc).

The company has just raised a solid $10M round from Index Ventures and a number of notable angels (Augusto Marietti and Marco Palladino, CEO and CTO of Kong; David Cramer, CTO of Sentry; Florian Douetteau, CEO of Dataiku) on the back of strong traction for its headless Content and API management platform.

STRAPI is part of a cohort of new companies spearheading the development of new web technologies that seeks to fully decouple client and server loosely called the JAMstack (JS, API’s and Markup) designed to deliver better performance (no backend queries), higher security (microservices APIs instead of server-side processes), lower cost of scaling (leveraging CDNs), and a better developer experience (loose coupling and separation of controls).

The key insight of JAMstack is that nothing beats pre-built files served over a CDN (no more web servers and backend database queries) but the real power lies in the ability to leverage any number of third-party APIs as you pull in external data to complement your pre-generated HTML.

This is where Strapi comes in, combining a headless Content Management System to elegantly expose your content experience to any channel or device (RESTful, GraphQL or even IoT) with a developer-centric API management capability. The beauty of a 100% Javascript world, front to back.

The company’s roadmap is public and the company is steadily releasing key building blocks (media library, flexible content structures, webhooks etc).

We first backed Strapi in July of last year, together with Dan Levine at Accel and a number of notable Bay Area angels (Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker, Guillermo Rauch, founder of Zeit / Vercel, Eli Collins, former CTO of Cloudera). There are a number of next-gen web infrastructure players accessing venture capital right now which include Netlify (serverless backend), Gatsby (SSG) or Vercel (front-end framework and CDN, recently funded by Accel).

Notable for me in watching this company grow:

  • It seems like the entire world is being build on JS frameworks, a far cry from its reputation of being a toy for script kiddies when I first started working with Boaz Sender at Bocoup in 2010. Strapi is for example used by the likes of IBM, NASA or Walmart.
  • The market is screaming for open source solutions and the emergence of the opencore & open source SaaS business models really gives users the best of both worlds and will prove hard to compete against for closed systems.
  • France really has depth in its engineering talent and educational system. Pierre Burgy, Aurélien Georget and Jim Laurie all met at HETIC — a school I’m confident you’ve never heard with a strong focus on web technologies and pumping out great entrepreneurs like this team.
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Finally, a word on Index Ventures. They came out strong with a clearly formed thesis on the overall evolution of the space (it helps that they are behind the likes of Confluent, Elastic, and Kong), quickly built rapport with management and wowed them with their depth of knowledge and intent, effectively taking this off the table in a matter of days. The definition of conviction investors. Well done team Strapi, Pia d'Iribarne and welcome Ari Helgason.

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