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Today we are thrilled to announce our $4M Seed funding led by Accel and Stride.vc. Notable angel investors and open-source experts, Solomon Hykes (Founder of Docker), Guillermo Rauch (Founder of Cloudup, Socket.io, Next.js and Zeit.co) and Eli Collins (Ex-CTO at Cloudera), also participated in this round.
Before announcing what we have in the pipeline, let's start with a little bit of history!
Like many programmers, we started building websites using traditional CMSs such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. They saved us an incredible amount of time.
After the emergence of the smartphone and the explosion in form factors and devices, the content game changed. It wasn't just a question of responsive design, but of being able to present and consume content and data in a myriad of environments from sites, to apps, to smartwatches, etc. Instead of duplicating content management, it started to make sense to centralize and make it omnichannel.
At the same time, even website creation had also changed. We started seeing super-fast and AJAX-based sites, providing smooth user experiences. The word "web app" became a thing.
As a cause and consequence, the first front-end frameworks appeared. Angular 1 (do you remember the good old ng-repeat?) was one that broke all the rules. Developers became more and more full-stack and started dividing their projects into separate directories (e.g., API and client).
Front-End and Back-End divorced. The API was the only bridge between them.
The only concern was the SEO limitations (HTML pages were almost empty). This issue was quickly solved thanks to pre-rendering solutions and, later on, static website generators and server-side rendering. After that, nothing could stop the movement! The success of React and Vue.js provides the best evidence of that.
Traditional CMSs were built 15 years ago and were fine when we had to make a website. For that reason, their name should probably be "website builders" or "website managers." But when we needed to build mobile applications, they were not the right tool. The only way to "APIfy" traditional CMSs was to hack them, and the result was always dirty, slow, and not customizable...
Frustrated by the limitations of traditional CMSs, we finally said: “Let’s create our own!”
First users, first GitHub stars, first pull-requests. What an amazing feeling!
In 2016 we incorporated the company and developed a few projects with the software to battle test it. We learned so much from these use-cases that we decided to restart the project from scratch and publish the new version in October 2017.
Since then, the project has grown like crazy. Used by thousands of companies like IBM, Asos, and Walmart, Strapi finally became the #1 Open-Source Headless CMS.
What does this fundraising mean for you? Only good news, that's why we are so excited!
Our primary focus is to provide the most requested features and enhance existing ones. Strapi will not only be easier to use but will also become even easier to deploy. Not only that, we will release the stable version.
For more information, please look at the public roadmap and upvote your most needed improvements.
For technical products, the documentation is always a critical part of the user experience. To render it more efficient, we will update the structure and add more guides to explain advanced usage, including customization and plugin development.
Through the website's brand new tutorial section, everyone can now enjoy a growing number of tutorials and publish new ones.
Strapi has been designed to be highly customizable and extensible through a powerful plugin system. This system will be finalized to make plugin development, publication, and updates seamless. That way, absolutely anyone can contribute and make the ecosystem bigger than we can imagine today!.
The aim of a Headless CMS is to be connected to clients, via a website, a mobile application, or even a fridge! We plan to offer a smooth experience while providing SDKs, integrations, and starters.
If you submitted a pull-request, tweeted about Strapi, or even if you recommended Strapi to one of your colleagues, you have already become part of the community.
As such, you participate by helping other users, improving the project, or passing the word around you to grow the ecosystem. We will provide more resources so you can easily organize events in your city, write tutorials, etc.
As an open-source company, we will have to make money at some point. In the future, we will start offering paid features for enterprise use-cases. We want to keep developer-oriented functionalities free while charging a small fee for business-oriented advanced features.
Whatever happens open-source will always stay open-source.
Our investors and advisors are firm believers in the open-source approach. Like you and us, they totally understand and approve the approach.
All this would not have been possible without the help of the 250 people who have contributed to the project and the thousands of users who give us feedbacks every day, spreading the word and encouraging us. Thank you again to each of you for your fantastic contribution!
Thanks to our team for working so hard every single day and creating the great atmosphere we share!
And of course, we are also grateful to our investors who strongly believe in our vision.
So we have a lot on our plate! To be able to reach all these goals, today, we are seeking the best talents. If you share our values (Excellence, Care, Passion, Humility, Transparency, and Positivity) and want to be part of this journey, take a look at the open positions and join us!
Pierre created Strapi with Aurélien and Jim back in 2015. He's a strong believer in open-source, remote and people-first organizations. You can also find him regularly windsurfing or mountain-biking!