Netlify came early to the idea of separating front-end design and back-end business processes on websites. It embraced Jamstack and microservices when those technologies were not well understood. It’s a fairly common way to build a website today, but it wasn’t always the case when they started.
Perhaps that knowledge and understanding is what attracted investors to the company. Today, Netlify announced a $105 million Series D at a $2 billion valuation. It comes 18 months after the company’s $53 million C round.
Bessemer Venture Partners led today’s round with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bond, EQT Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Mango Capital and Menlo Ventures. The company has now raised close to $200 million, according to Crunchbase data.
Matt Biilmann, Netlify CEO and co-founder, said that in the early days, they had to educate and convince people that the change in architecture that Netlify was trying to bring about was a real thing. Today, it’s a different story.
“So that architectural shift is absolutely happening, and is only accelerating. And that’s in the background of why we also raised this next round to really accelerate that, to fuel the developer revolution and advance [this] modern way [of developing websites], and to also tackle the next set of challenges. That starts with when it becomes evident that this shift in architecture is real and lasting,” Biilmann told me.
He said that the goal now is to tackle the next level of friction, which involves managing multiple APIs and how developers juggle all of the dependencies between these different elements. That’s why the company recently bought early-stage startup OneGraph, a member of the Y Combinator Summer 2018 cohort, which built a solution based on GraphQL to connect these different APIs together on the back end.
“[OneGraph technology] is going to be an important part of our next stage of product development,” Biilmann explained. “How can we help teams tackle that complexity of so many different APIs and services and make the experience of building for the Jamstack really feel like a unified application experience while taking full advantage of this new world where there is an API for everything and where your UI is decoupled from all these different parts.”
The company boasts more than 2 million developers using the platform, although many are using the free tier. It took the company five years to reach 1 million users and just a year to double that, so things are moving quickly.
Netlify currently has 200 employees, with plans to double that in the next year as it puts this new capital to work. Company co-founder Christian Bach said that Netlify has a diverse customer base and it’s important for the company’s employees to reflect that.
“It has always been extremely important for us just because of the fact that we are an enterprise global company that caters to anyone that builds for the web. So that’s a very diverse target audience, and in order for us to have a sufficiently intelligent organization, we need to be diverse as well,” he said.
Netlify also announced a $10 million Jamstack Innovation fund to help encourage and support innovation in the Jamstack ecosystem with checks in the $100,000 range. In addition, it is setting aside another $1 million to invest in adjacent open source tooling for the ecosystem.