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InfoQ Homepage News React-Based Site Generator Gatsby Raises $15M

React-Based Site Generator Gatsby Raises $15M

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Gatsby, the open-source React-based site generator framework, has raised $15M in a Series A funding round, led by CRV. Gatsby plans to grow its team, invest over $3 million yearly in open-source software (including Gatsby itself), and develop a cloud services offering.

The fund raising is indicative of the potential seen by investors to monetize Gatsby’s assets. Gatsby explains in its fund raising announcement:

Why the excitement and growth?The answer is simple. Gatsby was founded around a big idea, and that idea is starting to go mainstream.

Gatsby contends that the modern website landscape is driven by three key trends. First, the web is now migrating to a decoupled architecture where specialized modular services (like Shopify for e-commerce, or Stripe for payment) are stitched together to create websites. Second, the modern website landscape features a maturing JavaScript ecosystem, and a stabilizing set of best practices to build high-quality, scalable sites. Third, websites face the necessity to create compelling user experiences, as an ever larger proportion of users are on low-specs mobiles.

Gatsby sees itself positioned at the confluence of the aforementioned three trends. Gatsby is an open-source static site generator seeking to generate Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) by leveraging modern web technologies; implementing best practices to provide application performance by default; and federating content from a variety of sources (like Wordpress or Drupal), and third-party services.

Concretely, Gatsby strives to provide code and data splitting out-of-the-box, loads only the critical HTML, CSS, data, and JavaScript, and optimizes images by default. Once loaded, Gatsby prefetches resources for other pages, for the site to feel fast. Gatsby leverages React with its component-based model and rich ecosystem of libraries, components and tooling for UI management. Gatsby also makes use of GraphQL to stitch content from miscellaneous data sources.

Competing open-source static site generators and Gatsby participate in what has been termed as the JAMstack, defined as a modern architecture and best practices to create apps and web sites with JavaScript, APIs, and prerendered Markup, served without web servers. Because JAMstack projects need no server-side code, they can be served directly from a CDN which leads to faster roundtrips and better performance.

Gatsby plans to use its recently acquired funding to grow its current distributed team of 30+ members to further develop on the open source project, improve the documentation and tooling, and build cloud products.

Gatsby also mentions the intent to invest more than $3 million every year in open source (including on Gatsby core), official plugins and learning materials, with a view to creating a sustainable business model which will drive more funding to open-source tools.

Gatsby additionally reports investing heavily in what it sees as a promising future revenue stream, that is, building cloud services which complement the core open source product. The services would be free for personal sites and for pay for other customers. The initial CMS Preview service can be accessed with a 14-day free trial. The Preview service is described as follows:

If your team uses Gatsby for building websites or web apps, Gatsby Preview lets you see content changes as soon as you make them!

Further announcements are expected in the coming weeks and months.

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