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Head Over Heels for Headless

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Today we are excited to announce our lead investment in Contentful, a Berlin-based company transforming the content management space by going headless, who is today closing their series D funding at $33.5 million.

We first met Sascha Konietzke, CEO and co-founder, not long after the company was formed and learned about Contentful’s headless content management solution. We were intrigued by their differentiated solution, potential market opportunity and approach even back then. Furthermore, we were impressed by their passion and vision. Also, we knew Sascha and his team were onto something special to redefine an entire technology category. As a later stage investor, we agreed to stay in touch and look at becoming more engaged when Sapphire could be of most help to Contentful.

Content management systems (CMS) have been around for a while and have created a large and growing market. Incumbent enterprise solutions are mostly on-premise and have focused on a page-centric model by coupling content management with content presentation (WYSIWYG). But these large enterprise suites, with their long list of features, increasingly fail to address the changing nature of how content is consumed.

Today, the devices through which we interact with content have proliferated from our desks into our pockets, wrists and cars. Content is not just page-centric any longer, but has taken different forms, coalescing, becoming richer and changing at an increased pace. Applications for content consumption have become more varied, making content consumption more interactive, immersive and seamless.

Delivering content across these new and complex digital applications represents a challenge for organizations using their existing monolithic CMS platforms, which were built for a single purpose, are hard to scale, create content silos and hamper reuse.

Contentful addresses these demands by enabling enterprises to deliver content under a new, headless paradigm. By decoupling content from the presentation layer, Contentful’s content infrastructure frees up the use and reuse of content. Its context agnostic, API-first approach and flexible data model enable content to be used like building blocks within many applications. With a multi-tenant cloud architecture at its core, Contentful offers high availability, scalability, extensibility and improved security management. Customers see a faster time-to-value, lower risk of launch as well as improved efficiency and flexibility.

Contentful initially went to market by addressing developers as enterprises started to renew their digital stacks — replacing on-premise legacy systems with modern, cloud-based, modular architectures. By focusing on enterprise development teams and their requirements first, Contentful created a groundswell of adoption and momentum. Smaller scale trials and project-based usage led to broader adoption and eventually consolidation of the Contentful platform within organizations. The company’s developer focused go-to-market approach created a pull for their solution into enterprises. That pull is now being leveraged and amplified by an enterprise sales motion as Contentful is emerging as the leader in the headless content management space.

Contentful’s progress was recently recognized in the 2018 Forrester Wave report for Web Content Management Systems where they were identified as a Contender solution. In their first appearance in this report, Contentful achieved the highest possible scores in the Cloud Strategy, API Management, Deployment and Configuration, and Developer Program categories.

We are very excited to join Contentful at this point of its journey as an investor and partner. We look forward supporting Sascha and his team with our network and experience on topics such as enterprise sales, efficient scaling and internationalization.