Home / Business / Netlify just got $30 million to change the way developers build websites

Netlify just got $30 million to change the way developers build websites

Netlify wants to revolutionize the way developers build websites, abstracting away the web server and breaking web sites into microservices, making the process more like building a mobile application than a traditional website. Today, the company announced a $30M Series B investment to help continue to build on that vision.

Kleiner Perkins led the round. Andreessen Horowitz and the founders of Slack (Stewart Butterfield), Yelp (Jeremy Stoppelman) and Figma (Dylan Field) all participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised to over $44 million, according to Crunchbase data.

Chris Bach, co-founder and president and Matt Biilmann, co-founder and CEO see the change they are trying to make as part of the larger shift to an API economy. They want to take the same ease of development APIs have given programmers in a mobile context and bring that to web development.

As I wrote earlier this year when they announced support for AWS Lambda, they want to reduce the complexity around web development:

“Netlify has abstracted away the concept of a web server, which it says is slow to deploy and hard to secure and scale. By shifting from a monolithic website to a static front end with back-end microservices, it believes it can solve security and scaling issues and deliver the site much faster.”

The founders have a grand vision, “We are basically out to replace all web servers with a with a global application delivery network,” Bach explained.

Mamoon Hamid, general partner at investor Kleiner Perkins says that while backend has evolved over recent years, the front end has remained static, and that’s what Netlify is addressing with their microservices-based approach to web development. “Netlify smack dab hits our view of where we need to go for the web to flourish,” Hamid told TechCrunch.

He believes the last shift of this magnitude in web at the presentation layer was the advent of the CMS 15 years ago and we are starting to see developers attracted to the Netlify approach in a big way. “We really believe that with this 300,000 strong developer force that’s already behind Netlify that they’re showing early signs of tapping into what could be the platform from which a significant portion of the web content is served from [in the future],” Hamid said.

Netlify is working to increase the number of websites running on their approach in the coming years and see this as a mission to change the web. “For us, it’s very important to keep being a place where developers want to go and very easily can get something up and running. And then you can scale from there,” Bach said.

The company wants to build out a more organized sales and marketing team to sell the Netlify approach to larger organizations, while continuing to build out the product and developer outreach. All of this takes money and that’s why they went for such a large round today.

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Airbnbing can be a ton of work. Between key pickups, tidying, and maintenance emergencies, renting out your place isn’t such a passive revenue source. But Vacasa equips owners with full-service vacation home management, including listings on top rental platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway, as well as local cleaners who come between guests. It now manages 10,000 vacation rental properties in over 16 countries. With the peer-to-peer housing market maturing and Airbnb looking to go public, private equity firms see an opportunity in who controls the end relationship with home owners like Vacasa does. So today the startup is announcing it’s raised $64 million in a Series B bridge round led by Riverwood, and joined by Level Equity, Assurant, and Newspring. The cash will fuel Vacasa’s expansion into real estate as it seeks to sell property to people who want to own and rent out a vacation home. Vacasa was impressively bootstrapped from 2009 until 2015. “I’ve always been passionate about vacation rentals. When traveling with friends or family, I love having common spaces to come together in” says CEO Eric Breon. He founded the company after owning a vacation cabin on the Washington Coast. He’d go up in the Spring, spend a weekend fixing up the place, it’d sit idle all summer, and then he’d have to spend another weekend closing it up. He considered a local property manager, but they massively underestimated how much he could earn off renting it out. So Breon built Vacasa to make it easy for home owners to earn the most money without a hassle. After years growing the business organically, Vacasa raised a $35 million series A from Level Equity in 2015, then $5 million more from Assurant. Then in fall of 2017, it raised an $103.5 million series B. Now it’s topping up that round with $64 million and a new valuation warranted by the startup’s growth this past year. That brings Vacasa to a total of $207.5 million in funding While that’s just a fraction of the over $4.4 billion Airbnb has raised. But Vacasa caters to a more upscale market that don’t want to manage the properties themselves. With plenty of popular listings sites out there, Vacasa gets easy distribution. But eventually as the other giants in the space become public companies, they’ll be forced to chase bigger margins that could see them compete with Vacasa after years of partnership. Breon remains confident, though. When I ask him the biggest existential threat to the business, he declares that “We’ve reached a point where failure isn’t a realistic outcome. We have great retention of our homeowners, and strong recurring revenue. The question is more about how quickly we can continue scaling into the huge $32 billion market we’re focused on.” Getting to an exit might not be quite so straightforward, but with life seeming to get more stressful by the year, there’ll be no shortage of people seeking a getaway.

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