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Strapi Story

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Subject: Tell the Strapi story DRI: Pierre Burgy Last update/ review: September 2021

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Major Milestones

2015

Pierre, Aurélien, and Jim were working as freelance developers while being students. They were building websites and apps, using Node.js frameworks and traditional CMSs. When they had to do a mobile application or a website with a modern front-end framework, they were frustrated by traditional CMSs because these ones are only good at managing content on websites.

Annoyed by these limitations, they decided to create their own piece of software. They started using it for clients' projects. They soon realized they were not the only ones having this need. So, they published the project on GitHub in October 2015.

For them, making their project open-source was a no-brainer. They were using lots of open-source software. They were convinced that collaboration would lead to better software. Most of their clients wanted to host their CMS on their own servers. Customization capabilities were only possible through source-code access.

In the beginning, Strapi was a mix between a framework for building APIs and a CMS. We even considered it as a Content Management Framework. The name Strapi comes from Bootstrap your API.

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2016

During the last year of their studies, the founders had to do a business plan. They made the most of this opportunity to draw an ambitious future for their open-source project while maintaining it on their nights and weekends.

Strapi SAS (the equivalent of Strapi, Inc. in France) was incorporated.

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2017

Developing custom websites and apps was too time-consuming to keep working on the open-source project. After months of freelance work, they switched full-time on the project and hired the first employee this year.

Thanks to 2 years of feedback from our first users, we completely rebuilt Strapi from scratch. We released the v3.alpha, a new website, and new documentation. This new version introduced the plugin system, which was part of our vision of creating a real ecosystem around Strapi.

For us, this was the real beginning of the story.

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2018

The number of users started growing like crazy.

We started a fundraising process. It was our first company and the first time we were looking for money. Also, trying to convince investors about an open-source project was very difficult. After spending 9 months in the roadshow and reaching a negative amount on our bank account, we finally closed a $1M pre-seed round in June.

At that time, explaining Strapi was not clear enough. We did a lot of user research. 50% of our users were using Strapi to build custom APIs. 50% of our users were using Strapi to manage content. Our roadmap was always jumping from one of these two use-cases to the other.

We've seen there was a massive shift from traditional to Headless CMS. Also, we published a fake pricing page and realized users were more willing to pay for content management-oriented features. For these reasons, we decided to consider Strapi as a Headless CMS.

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2019

In early 2019, our growth was exponential. We applied to YCombinator and started a fundraising roadshow at the same time. We raised $4M within one month and canceled our application to the YCombinator the day before the interview (we had to make sure we would close the round).

We introduced several features (Dynamic Zones, Components, etc.) that now make Strapi the most flexible CMS.

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2020

Index Ventures preempted our $10M Series A.

We took the COVID-19 as an opportunity to transform shift from an office-based company to a worldwide, remote-first, organization.

We published the stable version of Strapi, released our new branding, and announced the Enterprise Edition.

The team doubled in size, with 25+ people.

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2021 and more

If you're reading this document, it means you are now part of this journey (as a Strapier or as a community member). First of all, we're glad to have you and we all wish you a warm welcome!

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You are one of the few who are writing the next chapters of the Strapi story.

So, let's keep writing a wonderful story together!