Why we invested in Webiny

Webiny is a CMS for serverless development. They are building an opensource platform on which developers can build apps and deploy them to serverless infrastructure, AWS’s fastest-growing division.

I first came across Webiny a few months ago and was intrigued by what they were doing so decided to get clued up on serverless architecture, admittedly something I knew nothing about previously. 

Why serverless?

  1. Serverless architecture automatically scales infinitely and instantaneously to the exact compute requirements needed. 
  2. This means you stop paying to keep servers running, non-stop, even when you are not using them. 
  3. It also means spikes in traffic do not cause outages ie. Monzo and Freetrade’s crowdfunding campaigns would not have caused Crowdcube to crash, were they using serverless infrastructure.

All this means dramatically easier deployment and DevOps, something developers yearn for.

Why CMS?

  1. Current CMSs are fairly limited, either in functionality or reliability. WordPress is the most common CMS, powering 30% of the internet but it’s becoming outdated, fragile, and inflexible. The way the team has built Webiny ensures it will be reliable forever, largely because they’ve separated the APIs from the client application.
  2. Developers often build a landing page on Wix (or similar), then build the business logic (application) using WordPress. Webiny can be used for both of these things, consolidating developers’ workflows.

So that’s what it is, but the real reason we invested in Webiny is the team. 

Throughout the investment process, we were impressed with Sven and Pavel’s attitude. Their vast experience in the industry (ex-Akamai, a huge cloud service provider) means they have an amazing grasp of what’s useful for developers, and they will continue iterating the product based on what the community wants. Sven’s project management background is evident – they hit deadlines, pay attention to detail and generally get s**t done.

They have a compelling approach to commercialisation and understand what needs to happen to raise a big financing round in perhaps 12-18 months. For a company at this stage, they’ve done an excellent job of building a community (>1400 Github stars at last count) – I believe this is a testament to Sven and Pavel’s tenacity and hustle. Hustle is key for a business like this in its early stages, and I think we’ve found a pair with a rare mix of hustle and technical ability.

At each meeting we had with him, Sven managed to excite me more and more about Webiny’s opportunity. He’s going to be able to do the same to future employees which will stand them in good stead from a hiring perspective.

Over the next 12 months, the team will build out a few key features which will create mass appeal to developers, and then they will work on building and engaging their community to drive widespread adoption. On these foundations, Webiny will have an array of monetisation opportunities and with a bit of experimentation, they’ll find a way to build a very valuable business.

We’re excited to be working with Sven, Pavel and the team, and hold high hopes for what they can achieve over the coming months and years.

Good luck to them!

Hector Mason

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