GraphCMS Raises $10M Series A to Unify the Content Layer

Michael Lukaszczyk
Michael Lukaszczyk
Daniel Winter
Daniel Winter

July 22, 2021

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Read the original Press Releases on Insider and EU Startups.

Read our blog post on the announcement here.

  • GraphCMS’s content management platform enables businesses to cut out middleware, and join siloed data from diverse sources into a single API
  • The company’s ‘Content Federation’ meta-layer supports digital teams to accelerate the product development cycle and time-to-market by 50%
  • New funding from OpenOcean will be used to accelerate product adoption across North America and Europe

July 22, 2021, Berlin, Germany: GraphCMS - a Berlin-based company whose pioneering content management platform enables enterprises to seamlessly deliver better digital experiences - announced it has raised a $10 million Series A funding round. The round was led by OpenOcean, and previous investors Peak and Paua Ventures also participated, bringing the company’s total funding to $13.7 million. Mango Capital’s Robin Vasan (investor in HashiCorp, Netlify, and others), Fauna founder and CTO, Evan Weaver, and Instana (acquired by IBM) founder and CEO Mirko Novakovic also joined this round. GraphCMS will use the funding to expand its commercial footprint within the US and European markets, further supporting businesses to create world-class content experiences in a fraction of time.

Liberating data effectively from third-party systems is a key challenge for digitally-driven enterprises, particularly in industries such as fintech, health tech, and streaming services. Traditionally, businesses would need to build custom middleware to access data from a range of microservices, but this is a challenging, error-prone, and expensive task for engineering teams. Tackling vast amounts of complex siloed data is laborious, slowing down enterprises’ product development cycles, and limiting agile content distribution.

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GraphCMS’s Content Federation is the pioneering plug-and-play solution to this problem. Users can cut out the middleware, and join siloed data from diverse sources into a single API programmatically. Enterprises are able to access this single API via whichever front end they prefer, allowing a broad range of use cases - from company intranets to new financial services products. This innovative approach positions GraphCMS uniquely against their competitors within the headless CMS space, as content can not only be served to any device, but also sourced from anywhere. Companies using Content Federation can push products to market 50% more quickly, giving them a significant competitive edge over rivals.

With Content Federation, companies can build complex applications while streamlining all their data from a single source of truth. To build a video-on-demand platform similar to Netflix, for example, GraphCMS can query remote sources to enrich all the content and ensure consistent data is distributed to the frontend via a single API. The actual films are delivered via API from the production providers; images can be queried from a DAM (Digital Asset Management) solution; metadata like subtitles come from their corresponding sources, and enrichments like ratings and reviews come from services like IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes. Within a single call to GraphCMS’s API, all these sources and content can be combined and served to a viewer within milliseconds to ensure a seamless digital experience.

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Michael Lukaszczyk, CEO and Co-Founder at GraphCMS says: “There has been a significant shift in the way content is being created, delivered, and consumed, with enterprises grappling to keep up with the fast-paced requirements of the omnichannel world. GraphCMS is the solution to a world where content is king, and data from microservices is vital for companies from all sectors. Our best-in-class technology stack provides digital teams with a solution to the thorny issue of siloed data integration. This is huge in terms of accelerating the product development cycle, saving enterprises time and money, and enabling them to better serve their customers. It promises to be a key enabler of the online world as data continues to grow in importance and complexity.

GraphCMS has experienced strong commercial and operational growth over 2021, achieving 80x growth in revenue since its initial seed investment in July 2018. The company has a growing portfolio of enterprise customers across Europe and the United States, all using GraphCMS’s APIs to deliver digital experiences to millions of end-users. Current customers include audio products corporation Shure, global ed-tech platform 2U Inc., multinational telecommunications company Telenor, and two European government bodies.

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OpenOcean’s investment in GraphCMS represents our largest initial investment to date in a Series A company”, says Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean. “GraphCMS is a business primed to solve the challenges facing the industry today, from the exponential growth of siloed data to the increasing complexity of the enterprise digital journey. Firms are crying out for a new approach that delivers applications with the convenience of a database, the collaborative nature of a federated content platform, and the programmability of an API gateway. GraphCMS’ breakthrough approach combines the best of the GraphQL and content management system worlds to give their customers the edge over the competition, and the opportunity to lead the way in the era of rapid digitalization.”

GraphCMS plans to use the new funding to increase its focus on API integrations, accelerate product adoption, and scale its team globally with a particular focus on North America and Europe. Partnerships with digital agencies, software integrators, and technology partners will help the company to rapidly scale and expand its footprint. Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean, will join the company’s board.


About GraphCMS

GraphCMS is the enterprise-class content management platform that enables ambitious digital products at scale. With the industry's most versatile GraphQL content APIs and a novel approach in external data sourcing, the content platform enables use cases beyond competitor’s capabilities. Enterprise customers see GraphCMS as a database highly optimized for structured content while giving content creators the tools to build their ultimate content pipeline. GraphCMS is developed by GraphCMS GmbH, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and is currently enabling nearly 50,000 teams across the world to rapidly build and deliver tomorrow’s omnichannel digital experiences at scale.

About OpenOcean

OpenOcean is the pioneering venture capital investor in data solutions and software. It has a long entrepreneurial history, led by the founders of several category-defining businesses, including MySQL and MariaDB. Since its foundation in 2011, OpenOcean has continued to pioneer cutting-edge technologies at the forefront of the data economy. It typically leads or co-leads Series A funding rounds in European start-ups that are removing barriers to digitalization or enabling the potential of next-generation technologies to be realized.


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