Accelerating into the digital-first era with $80 million in new funding

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Published
June 17, 2020
Category

Strategy

Today we announced an $80 million Series E funding round, led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from General Catalyst, Salesforce Ventures and five other new and existing backers. I’m personally thrilled to share this news, and for everything it will allow us to do to serve our customers and continue to reinvent our industry.

This round brings us to nearly $160 million in total funding. Our investors are doubling down on the next chapter in Contentful’s story, a testament to the market opportunity ahead for our content platform.

This funding fuels our continued growth as we create the platform of choice for leading brands such as Spotify, ITV, Urban Outfitters, Aldo and Jack in the Box, to power the content that flows throughout their global businesses.

New leadership will put this funding to work

To guide us through the next chapter, we’re bringing in world-class leaders, including Bridget Perry, who joins Contentful as our Chief Marketing Officer. She was previously Adobe’s CMO for EMEA, and as a seasoned executive in this industry, she will lead our go-to-market efforts across marketing and partnerships.

We also hired Margo M. Smith as Chief Legal Officer; her background includes high-growth technology companies such as Marketo and Snowflake, and deep expertise in both private and public companies that operate globally.

In total, Contentful has hired seven new members to our senior leadership team over the past year, plus other strategic roles, to guide our rapidly growing organization of more than 350 employees based in our San Francisco and Berlin hubs, and distributed worldwide.

Two individuals collaborating with Contentful

Helping our customers adopt a new digital playbook

With this combination of funding and leadership, we’re in a strong position to help brands with two key challenges:

  1. Shift to the long-term trends of the digital first era and the new digital playbook, driven by customer demand on every channel

  2. Pivoting quickly to respond to the realities of Covid-19 

The other day I spoke to a digital leader at our customer, Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's food and pharmacy leader. In early February, Loblaw was forced to adapt — as we all were — to a global pandemic. From the sudden need to communicate new operating hours and in-store procedures, to shifting business priorities that focused on click-and-collect and digital-only channels, Loblaw was able to adapt quickly because of its flexible, agile content platform.

Loblaw’s outwardly seamless pivot helped keep their focus right where they wanted it — on their customers. Several of Loblaw’s digital leaders shared a version of this story at our recent virtual Blueprints conference.

The other common theme I keep hearing from customers was highlighted by Audi Canada, which recently created a new digital playbook focused on collaboration, agility and continuous evolution to get digital products into the hands of their customers faster. To paraphrase, they believe “the old way of working isn’t working anymore.” 

So how can companies put this new digital playbook into action?

A digital-first mindset and builder ethos go hand in hand

First, it’s clear that digital has become a core competency, not an add-on. The people and processes an organization has in place are just as important as the technology supporting them. These digital leaders are creating new operating models and cross-functional team structures to raise their organizations’ digital acumen — believing that this agility is a key competitive advantage. 

At the same time that this top-down trend is emerging, we also see the rise of what we call the builder ethos. This new mindset among teams isn’t just for developers — marketing, sales and customer support are all now builders, too. Everyone is rolling up their sleeves to build engaging customer experiences together.

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, highlighted the importance of embracing this mindset in his recent Summit keynote, saying to move quickly “you have to make sure that you hire builders,” and talked about the value that can be gained when you create these teams across disciplines — they work together better and own problems as one.

I find this kind of transformation and innovative thinking so inspiring, and this is where Contentful has seen such a massive market shift. Both digital leaders and builders want the best tools and platforms for creating new customer experiences. The builders want API-first, interoperable technology to help them deliver quickly and efficiently, and leaders want to attract and retain top talent while delivering better business outcomes.

Partners in innovation 

Brands aren’t pivoting to this new approach alone. Our ecosystem of more than 300 partners continues to grow as companies replatform with modern software stacks, leveraging agencies and system integrators such as Accenture, Publicis Sapient, Huge, Valtech and AKQA, for expertise to create a new generation of digital experiences. 

Contentful has become the content platform of choice, most recommended by solutions partners and analysts alike. We’ve extended our platform with our App Framework, which allows teams to easily add capabilities to their stack as they get more sophisticated — no big bang rollout required. It helps companies maximize existing investments as they modernize their stack, like Telus does with Adobe Target, Audience Manager and Analytics.

Contentful powers a wide spectrum of use cases: from Intercom’s global rebrand, to in-app support for Atlassian’s Jira Software to Bang & Olufsen’s unified customer experience across product, commerce and in-store IT systems. And 28% of the Fortune 500 build with Contentful; we power thousands of digital experiences for more than 12 billion user interactions every month.

Let’s build something together

Our new round of funding will allow us to accelerate our growth, and continue to pioneer how digital experiences are created. This has been made possible by our amazing customers, partners, employees and investors. 

In the coming years, the persistent question for digital leaders will be: Do builders have the right content platform and tools to succeed in this digital-first era? This is absolutely a fork in the road — we hope to partner with you. Join us

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