Berlin startup Contentful

Paolo Negri (Co-Frounder, CTO) and Sascha Konietzke (Co-Founder, CEO) © Anne Schönharting


Disrupting the CMS Market with an API-First Content Infrastructure

Founded in 2013
150 employees
Funding €20M / 2 Rounds

Contentful powers digital experiences for major brands across the globe. Its content infrastructure provides developers a powerful set of APIs to manage, integrate, and deliver content to any device or service – be it mobile apps, IoT devices, SaaS products, Super Bowl campaigns, smart car dashboards, or the next big platform yet to come. Companies like Spotify, Red Bull, Specialized, Twilio, and Urban Outfitters rely on Contentful to solve the complexities of content management. Website

Interview with Contentful

What inspired you to found your startup?

Before Contentful we were both working as developers for other tech companies so we’ve learned the limitation of traditional Content Management Systems (CMSs) by having to work with them. At some point we just said “You know what? We can do this better and smarter” and that’s when the seed was planted.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

We want to be able to look back and feel proud of the journey we had, the team we’ve gathered and the product we’ve built. Providing our customers with a high-quality product while also building a healthy company culture is what we strive for.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?

We wouldn’t be where we are today if we would have done things differently.

What problem does your product solve?

Contentful enables professional developers to build their applications with a content infrastructure. Unlike monolithic web or self-baked CMS, we boost developer productivity and innovation on new platforms by making your content programmable.

Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?

The demand for this next generation of tools, like the one we’re building, is in the numbers: the company continues to double revenue year over year. We want to keep doing that. Our talent acquisition will grow at a similar pace which means that the size of our San Francisco team will increase considerably.

How are you different?

Traditional Content Management Systems (CMSs) should more appropriately have been called “web publishing tools”. The current CMS market is fragmented and the environment is changing quickly as new devices, platforms, and tools for developers are continually being introduced. Contentful is creating a new product category called “content infrastructure” that targets professional developers, helping them to make content programmable (which they can’t do with a legacy CMS).

How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?

Companies like Spotify, Red Bull, Petsmart, Specialized, Twilio, and Urban Outfitters rely on Contentful to solve the complexities of content management in the modern multi-channel world. Their development and editorial teams use Contentful on a daily basis in order to deliver content to their own customers.

Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?

Our #1 job is to change how people think about content management. If we work our way backwards from where we think the market is going to where we are today, then we believe there is an opportunity next to web publishing tools for a totally new product category called “content infrastructure” that targets professional developers by helping them make content programmable and to build digital experiences.

How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?

The startup scene in Berlin is definitely maturing, which means it’s attracting more talent and more investment – two key elements for any company to be successful.

What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?

The costs of launching a startup in Berlin a lower than in other European cities and growing reputation of the city among the tech community provided us with access to new talent at an early stage. When it comes to acquiring funding, being Berlin based was considered a challenge but we can notice that things have improved in the past year. There’re still improvements to be made to the regulatory framework and to the current mentally on how to do business but Berlin is getting there.

Contentful was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.

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