The workflows and technologies required for modern web development are undergoing dramatic reinvention. Netlify, a San Francisco based company serving a large base of passionate web developers, has seen the transformation first hand. They’ve engineered a new platform for the web where content and applications are created directly on a global network, bypassing the need to ever setup or manage servers.
Today, Netlify announced they have raised an additional $30m led by Kleiner Perkins’ Mamoon Hamid with Andreessen Horowitz and the founders of Slack, Yelp, GitHub and Figma participating.
“We’ve wanted to dump webservers for a while, but the tooling was missing. Netlify now gives us instant global delivery, with no infrastructure required.” said Vitaly Friedman, founder and owner of Smashing Magazine and Smashing Conf. “As content gets updated, it’s automatically built by Netlify’s bots before being deployed worldwide to every major cloud provider. For us, Netlify replaced the need for a CDN, a lot of servers, a lot of management headache, and a lot of duct tape.”
Pre-building and distributing apps ahead of time is the core concept behind the JAMstack, a modern approach to web applications. It’s an idea borrowed from mobile development that’s catching on with the web developer community. “Running any web property without origin servers is an arresting concept, but the clear future of the web platform,” adds GitHub founder Tom Preston Warner. “In less than five years, you’ll build your next complex web application this way.”
To pull off the new architecture, Netlify needed to give developers a git-centric workflow, something that supports the move away from server applications towards APIs and microservices. Netlify’s Application Delivery Network removes the last remaining dependency on origin infrastructure, allowing companies to host the entire application globally.
“It’s an ambitious goal,” said Kleiner Perkins’ Mamoon Hamid, commenting on their investment in Netlify. “In a sense, they are completely rethinking how the modern web works. But the response to what they are doing has been overwhelming. Most of the top projects in this developer space have already migrated their sites: React, Vue, Gatsby, Docker, and Kubernetes are all Netlify powered. The early traction really shows they hit a nerve with the developer community.”
Netlify believes all sites on the internet will be powered by application delivery networks as the technology advances.
“The cloud made it faster, easier, and cheaper to provision servers, vms, and containers.” said Mathias Biilmann, Netlify Founder and CEO. “But more devices always bring more complications. Customers have come to us with AWS environments that have dozens or even hundreds of them for a single application. Our goal is to remove the requirement for those servers completely. We’re not trying to make managing infrastructure easy. We want to make it totally unnecessary.”
“This is where the web is going,” commented Chris Coyier, CSS expert and co-founder of Codepen. “Netlify is just bringing it to us all a lot faster. With all the innovation in the space, this is an exciting time to be a developer.”