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WordPress might power 40% of the world’s websites, but it’s far from the only content management system (CMS) in town. Enterprise-focused CMS Contentstack has been on a tear since its inception three short years ago, securing major clients such as Shell, Sephora, Cisco, Chase, McDonald’s, and Elastic, increasing its customer base by 150% since its series A fundraising in 2019.
Aiming to double down on its recent growth, the San Francisco-based company today announced that it has raised $57.5 million in a series B round of funding led by return investor Insight Partners, taking its total funding to $89 million.
The global CMS market was pegged as a $62.4 billion industry last year, a figure that’s touted to nearly double within four years. While the WordPress brand is synonymous with content management systems, used by major companies such as The New York Times, Best Buy, and CNN, Contentstack has set out to target a very specific business type, one that meets the “strict requirements that enterprises have,” Contentstack founder and CEO Neha Sampat told VentureBeat.
“Scalability is a key criterion, as is reliability and security — these are all areas where Contentstack has deep expertise and has proven itself with the world’s most demanding brands,” Sampat said.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2018, Contentstack is offered via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription, meaning that there are no downloads, no manual upgrades, and no requirements to learn any particular programming language or framework. This means that a frontend developer can comfortably work with the platform, while businesses can bypass the need to work with a third-party agency every time they want to roll out an update to their website.
“Contentstack empowers business users to be more self-sufficient and in control of their content so they don’t have to go to an agency and log a support ticket every time they want to update their website,” Sampat said, though she noted that many agencies do in fact specialize in Contentstack. “Instead of patching and upgrades, these agencies can provide richer services and contribute to a company’s appeal and differentiation by designing new and innovative content experiences,” she added.
Enterprise data giant Elastic elected to move from WordPress to Contentstack as part of its process of merging its .com and .org domains, and one of the reasons, according to Contentstack, was to “eliminate their dependency on a web agency” to manage its content.
“Elastic had already decided in 2015 that they had reached their limit with WordPress, and they were gearing up accelerated business growth, that they felt WordPress would not be able to support them on that journey,” Sampat said. “With their rapid business growth, it was important for them that the content platform could scale without resulting in escalating cost and complexity.”
Businesses have no shortage of options when it comes to an enterprise-focused CMS. WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic has an enterprise offshoot called WordPress VIP, with notable customers including Facebook, Microsoft, Slack, and Salesforce. But as a relative new kid on the block, Contentstack is aligning itself with a more modern architecture based around microservices, APIs, cloud, and “headless” — MACH, for short. The company, which was one of the founding members of the MACH Alliance, touts itself as an agile CMS, with dozens of integrations spanning sales and marketing, analytics, infrastructure, ecommerce, and more.
“Frequent business drivers are around omnichannel content delivery, accelerated time to market, more agility, and superior integration capabilities,” Sampat said. “Digital leaders are now turning to a new generation of technology and architecture.”
With another $57.5 million in the bank, which included investments from Illuminate Ventures, Gingerbread Capital, and Georgian, the company is well-financed to lure more customers away from other longstanding incumbents. These include other major players such as Squarespace, which made its debut on the public markets last month, and is now valued at nearly $8 billion.
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