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.
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 themebased 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 performanceand visitor metrics (x2 increase of page views, lower bounce rates). For those curious, we published a few months ago 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, thefirst 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 onbuilding your site 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 our community and started using Frontity for their projects. We could have never imagined this support in such a short time!
What does this investment mean?
Making WordPress with React easier
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. 😉
Pushing the headless WordPress web forward
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 headless WordPress and Frontity to a wider audience.
It 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.
Offering a great developer experience
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! 🙌
Frontity’s business model
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.