Home Technology Storyblok raises $80M to bring more AI into its ‘headless’ CMS aimed...

Storyblok raises $80M to bring more AI into its ‘headless’ CMS aimed at non-technical people

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If content is king, then the focus today is on how the king is expanding the empire: print and traditional media first got augmented by websites, and now websites are being augmented by an exponential landscape of apps, social media platforms, new kinds of  screens, and content created not by humans, but by, artificial intelligence. Now a company that’s building for that content horizon is announcing a big round of funding to expand its business. 

Storyblok, a startup out of Linz, Austra, that provides a content management system (CMS) for organizations built around the ‘headless’ concept – a middle ground between platforms that come with more rigid templates and a full-control approach that might involve building and maintaining many different components of of a content and front-end tech stack – has closed a Series C round of $80 million. 

The plan will be to use the funds not only to continue expanding further into Europe and the U.S. but also to – what else? – bring new automation and AI tooling into the mix. 

Some of that is already getting a boost: to coincide with the funding round, Storyblok is launching a beta of Ideation Room. The company describes this as a “collaborative space within Storyblok where they can develop new ideas together at the beginning of the creation process, using AI to help improve content and bring it to life.” Dominik Angerer, the CEO and founder of Storyblok, said that the company was working with OpenAI on that AI tooling, so expect to see some generative AI worked not only into making the platform more intuitive to use, but potentially also to populate the content on the platform. 

The company now has a staff of 240 and it will also be ramping up hiring.

Brighton Park Capital, a new backer of the company, is leading the round. This is a substantial raise for the company, which last raised money in 2022, a $47 million Series B. As with that last round, it’s not disclosing valuation, but for some context, its users have more than doubled since that last round, going to 200,000 today from 74,000 in 2022 and we understand that this is definitely an “up round.”

Storyblok has raised $138 million to date.

Angerer told TechCrunch that he roughly projects that the company will reach profitability by the end of 2025. 

“It’s a massive market,” he said, estimating that the bigger opportunity for CMS players – which include not just Storyblok but others like Contentful, WordPress, Commercetools (focused on e-commerce) and others – to be around $20 billion to $25 billion annually. “People used to think that content was valuable for B2C brands that were connected with their consumers, but increasingly, it’s core to the strategy for almost any any company in any industry,” he said. “The mass market is still controlled by legacy companies, with modern headless players like us taking just a percentage.”

Storyblok’s big selling point up to now has been that its services are often adopted and used not just by the developers who typically are the end-customers of CMS services, but also by non-technical workers so that they don’t have to call in developers at every turn to get their work done. Its customers including Adidas, T-Mobile, Renault, and the alt-milk brand Oatly. Altogether there are some 250,000 active projects on its platform.

There have always been challenges, from a creator’s point of view, of how to build an audience, and thus business, out of content. How do we make interesting work that connects with people? And how will technology impact how that work gets amplified and seen? These days, that set of challenges has burgeoned into something of an existential crisis, thanks to the rise of AI. There has always been something sacrosanct about what a human brings to the equation when it comes to creativity (even the fact that we’ve started to refer to content makers as ‘creators’ leans into that). But with the rise and increasing sophistication of generative AI, is the human really going to be necessary tomorrow? 

Storyblok, by its nature, has up to now been focused on putting the human creator front and center. But in making its tools easier to use with AI, the big question will be what role those humans play in the longer run.

For now, it’s a big enough proposition to back companies that are using AI for more immediate help, said Kevin Magan of Brighton Park, the lead investor in this round. 

“Almost all of our companies have AI as an important part of their product today or product roadmap,” he said. “We’re not focusing a huge amount of time on a lot of the foundational models and things like that, but we do feel strongly that AI is going to be a component of most application level software.”

In addition to Brighton Park Capital previous backers HV Capital, Mubadala Capital, 3VC, and firstminute capital also participated.



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