Hygraph raises $30M to expand new federated approach to digital content management

by Ana Lopez

Digital content and how we consume it continues to evolve endlessly, and with it the technology that helps manage everything behind the scenes. In the latest development, Hygraph, a Berlin-based startup that built a platform around a new, “federated” approach to content management – think: many data sources and many endpoints to use it, and using composable architecture, orchestrating everything from a single platform – announces it has raised $30 million. The startup now has about 400 customers – including big brands like Samsung, Philips and the FMCG conglomerate Dr. Oetker – and the plan is to use the funding to further develop the platform and how and where it can be used, as well as expand into new geographies.

The round is a series B and is led by European investor One Peak, with previous backers OpenOcean and SquareOne, as well as new individual investor Boris Lokschin (co-founder and CEO of Spryker Systems), all also participating. The startup previously raised $13 million and is not disclosing its value.

A number of startups have identified an opportunity to improve the way organizations create and manage their online content, including targeting specific verticals like Shopify, those like Wix that have built frameworks to get sites up and running quickly, and a newer generation of ” headless” systems are more flexible with controlling interfaces, while also being able to handle potentially massive amounts of data at the backend. (And there are even some new players emerging, such as Vue Technologies, which is taking an open source approach to improving front-end management, which I talked about last week.) Hygraph represents yet another chapter in that story.

The positioning goes a bit like this: When it comes to interacting with digital content, the landscape has changed dramatically over the past 15 years: not only do we have a plethora of screens, from traditional TVs and computers to phones, watches and more, but the formats we see on this are constantly fragmenting and evolving. But so are the data sources used to create and manage that digital content.

While there are already a number of services on the market to address aspects of this state of affairs (see above), no single platform defragments the experience and brings the back and front sourcing and data management challenges together in one place. This is what Hygraph aims to do and it calls its approach ‘federated content’.

“We turn our heads,” Michael Lukaszczyk, the CEO and co-founder, said in an interview. “We are not only front-end agnostic, but also back-end agnostic. We make it easy to integrate the back-end and front-end into one universal content API.” One of the great benefits of this is that by building all of this around APIs, you can essentially update information and push information to other systems much more efficiently, essentially in real time, making systems generally better and cheaper over time. to work. This may be an “overwhelmed” approach for basic sites these days, he admitted, but it’s essential for large organizations dealing with massive amounts of traffic and multiple experiences across multiple platforms, marketplaces, social media sites, and more. That can be aimed at e-commerce, but can also apply to media organizations that manage video, and so on.

The company was originally called GraphCMS – it bases its framework around GraphQL and how it’s built around the concept of composable architecture. Last September it also released an API that supercharged where and how Hygraph can be used.

“Despite the rise of the composable enterprise, many organizations are unable to extract the full value from their content,” David Klein, co-founder and managing partner, and Tatjana Kast, president of One Peak, said in a joint statement. . “Hygraph solves the customization and integration challenges that continue to slow down the creation of new or complex digital services at scale. We are extremely impressed with Hygraph’s strong and capital efficient growth trajectory and believe the federated content platform represents a significant market opportunity. One Peak is incredibly excited to support the outstanding Hygraph team and founders in their next phase of explosive growth.”

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