It would be impossible to cover any news this month without acknowledging the crisis in Ukraine.
As many CMS and DXP vendors rely on the incredible talent and resources of the people in this region, the events of the last few weeks have hit especially close to home. Even as we publish our February recap, things continue to unfold – and our hearts go out to the people of this magnificent country.
Of course, this tragedy is evolving just as many countries are emerging from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many businesses poised for a return to normalcy (what that looks like still remains to be seen). Still, the lasting impact of the omnichannel revolution is being felt across all digital transformation strategies, giving way to more headless, composable, API-driven solutions as companies plan for a more digital future.
When it comes to movers and shakers, 2022 is starting much the same way as 2021: with big investments.
Bloomreach, a leading content and search platform focused on commerce, announced a $175 million round of funding – exploding its valuation to $2.2 billion. Elastic Path also made waves by securing $60 million in financing to grow its composable commerce solutions. We also saw BigCommerce purchase B2B Ninja, an e-commerce platform, in an effort to energize quoting and other commerce services in their ecosystem. (Hint: we have more investment news below...)
As always, we try to recap some of the news you might have missed this month. There's a lot happening across our industry, and on a brighter note, we'll be announcing the winners of the CMS Critic Awards next week – both the People's Choice and Editor's Choice categories. We had a lot of great engagement over the last month across our social channels, and we're looking forward to sharing the results.
We're all asking the same question: what happens to data in a post-cookie world?
Segment – a leading customer data platform (CDP) purchased by Twilio in November of 2020 – is helping to shed some light on that query with the release of its third annual Customer Data Platform Report (CDP).
Based on anonymized platform usage data of Segment's 25,000+ customers between 11/1/2020 to 11/1/2021, the report finds aggressive adoption of CDPs over the past year as businesses build digital-first customer engagement strategies and reduce their reliance on third-party data.
Covid-19 shifted consumer behavior on a number of levels. In response, organizations changed how they interacted with their customers. As more digital engagements ensued, so too did the amount of data being generated. This spurred an explosive demand for CDP layers, particularly as it related to the broader CMS and DXP ecosystems.
Along with the unimaginable growth in data, the volume of API calls has also skyrocketed. Postman – a leading application platform for API testing – conducted a survey last year that showed the world is moving to an "API-first era" as integrations and endpoints expand exponentially. As an example, the API calls through Segment have been growing steadily year-over-year since 2017, but 2020-2021 was an inflection point – with API calls in their system reaching over 1 trillion per month.
Another reason CDP popularity has rapidly exploded is the impending "death" of third-party data. With increasing privacy regulations and the shift to a cookieless future across apps and browsers, businesses are embracing first-party data as a focal point.
Segment's findings validate that customer data has become an integral part of how organizations are powering their digital experiences. The report also lists 2021's fastest-growing apps. For more details, you can access the full report at: https://segment.com/the-cdp-report.
fabric, the fast-growing headless commerce platform, announced the closing of a Series C funding round of $140M led by Softbank, with participation from Forerunner Ventures, Glynn Capital, and existing investors Redpoint Ventures Norwest Ventures, and Stripes.
This latest round of funding closes a mere 219 days after its Series B – and now positions fabric's value at approximately $1.5B.
"Retailers need to meet modern consumers wherever they are – whether online, offline, mobile, social, or any future entry point. This means merchants of all sizes, and especially mid-market and enterprise, need the right commerce platform to keep pace with evolving trends," said Robert Kaplan, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers. "We believe that fabric has built the industry's best API-first modular commerce platform and accompanying commerce applications to give merchants unrivaled power and flexibility, all in a manner that reduces the pain of migrating over from legacy, outdated commerce platforms."
Funds from the Series C round will be utilized for accelerating product development largely through automation and intelligence and geographic expansion.
Netlify, a Git-powered static site generator and headless CMS that's all the rage in the Jamstack community, has announced Netlify Graph: a GraphQL-powered experience designed to help developers build interactive and connected web applications faster.
The shift to API-first development has created an ecosystem where apps are modular and reusable. While the API-first approach is developer-friendly, it has also introduced new complexities such as discovering, securing, learning, and governing APIs. Netlify's Graph is designed to make this experience easier for developers, allowing them to use APIs without writing undifferentiated glue code, learning every API's unique structure, or composing endless amounts of endpoints to get data from various APIs into your app.
Netlify Graph is in public beta and available globally. It starts with a catalog that includes some of the most frequently requested APIs that development teams use, such as GitHub, Stripe, and Salesforce. The company plans to add more in the coming months. The Netlify Graph beta is available to all Netlify users and can be accessed from your Netlify team dashboard. Once logged in, simply select "Graph" from your Netlify site dashboard menu.
To learn more, head over to the Netlify Graph docs.
BigCommerce, a leading cloud e-commerce platform, announced the acquisition of B2B Ninja (formerly Quote Ninja) – an enterprise software solution that provides leading business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce capabilities for merchants of all sizes.
According to Forrester, U.S. B2B e-commerce transactions are expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. This is creating a groundswell of opportunity for e-commerce platform providers to deliver focused solutions to this segment of the market. A longtime BigCommerce partner, B2B Ninja brings its best-in-class quoting solution to help streamline transactions by delivering powerful e-commerce functionality to B2B merchants.
"B2B Ninja is an excellent addition to our already strong B2B capabilities," said Brent Bellm, CEO of BigCommerce. "Complementing our recent launch of B2B Edition, this is the next big step in providing a platform that is easier to use and faster than legacy B2B solutions and more flexible and powerful than other SaaS platforms. We continue to invest in ways that make BigCommerce the best platform for merchants of all sizes regardless of who or where their customers are or where merchants are selling."
B2B Ninja is available to any BigCommerce merchant on any plan to enhance the customer experience and easily manage quotes online.