We are thrilled to announce that Frontity has raised a €1M funding round led by Automattic (the parent company of WordPress.com and WooCommerce) and the venture capital firm K Fund, with participation from significant business angels of the Spanish startup ecosystem.
Before telling you more about what this investment means for us and the future of Frontity, let’s briefly look back to understand better what brought us to where we are today. If you already know our story, feel free to jump ahead to learn more about the funding round. 🙂
As of late 2017, some WordPress publishers approached us with the same concern: despite their best efforts, their WordPress sites on mobile devices were slow. In order to help them improve their site’s performance and user experience, we developed a mobile WordPress theme based on React specifically for their needs.
The results of this theme, which we called Frontity PRO, were very satisfactory. After installing it, publishers saw a significant improvement in both their performance and visitor metrics (x2 increase of page views, lower bounce rates). For those curious, a few months ago we published this case study on how Gudog's blog has grown by 88% with our theme.
During 2018, Frontity PRO was used in more than 50 news sites and served more than 40 million page views. Every new project with a WordPress publisher helped us learn from each use case as well as battle test the internal framework we had built in order to create that theme.
At the time we were working on this, there was no easy way to connect WordPress and React and we had to face a lot of development challenges. That made us think that if we put all our experience and knowledge into an open source project, anyone trying to solve the problems that we had already faced could benefit.
This is how Frontity, the first React framework exclusively built for WordPress, was born.
Frontity’s unique approach strips away the complexity that entails connecting both WordPress and React, and gives you a big head start by providing many of the most common queries already built in. This way you can focus on building your website or blog instead of all the tooling and configuration.
Since officially open sourcing the framework in May 2019, it has quickly grown in usage. More than 250 developers have already joined the community and started using Frontity for their projects. We could have never imagined this support in such a short time!
Frontity was created around the idea of making it easier to build fast, scalable websites with WordPress and React.
Getting financial backing for the startup means that we can invest more effort in helping deliver on our mission. It will help us improve the framework development, roll out new features faster, and grow the community around it by providing more resources to collaborate and learn.
In addition, we are already planning to collaborate with different WordPress hosting companies to make it easier to deploy your Frontity sites on your preferred hosting. If you are interested in joining forces, feel free to contact us. 😉
We believe that during the coming years there will be a big transition towards decoupled architectures and that React will play a key role in WordPress to build better, modern user experiences. This investment is really important to us because it validates our vision and work.
Having the support of Automattic will allow us to connect and collaborate with their partners to support larger projects and bring decoupled WordPress and Frontity to a wider audience.
This will not only open up new opportunities to keep pushing the headless web forward, but also help us position Frontity as a framework of reference within this context.
We know documentation is a key part of the user experience and we haven't been quite up to the task yet. Good news is that our newly formed Developer Relations team is already taking care of it, working on more guides, tutorials and learning resources! 🙌
Now that we’ve raised a round of funding, it’s natural to ask questions about the Frontity’s business model or revenue stream for us as a company.
Since we are not developing any business model during this initial phase, this funding round was the best way for us to make the project sustainable. It is worth mentioning that it doesn’t mean in any way a move away from open source. We are an independent company and have complete autonomy on our strategy.
Frontity framework is open source, and will always remain open source. We'll never release any framework feature as paid-only.
Possible monetizations that we are thinking of to generate revenue in the future and add value to the community are a hosting solution, premium support, or a marketplace of paid themes.
We’d like to thank all our investors, advisors, and the team of the Google for Startups Residency Program for their help and for believing in us, both in the project and the team. We raised money from an incredible group of people and feel truly grateful and honored to have Automattic (one of the best WordPress companies in the world) and K Fund (one of the best venture capital firms in Spain) as investors.
Finally, thank you to Frontity's amazing community for joining us on this journey. For sharing your knowledge, helping us improve the framework, building such awesome projects with Frontity, and inspiring us each day. 💙
Can't wait to build this new Frontity chapter with you all!
This post was originally published at frontity.org/blog.