$6.7M in Series A funding to build the next-gen developer blogging community
Today we announced that we have raised $6.7M in our Series A funding from some of the best VCs (Salesforce Ventures, Accel Partners, Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital's Surge), and notable individual investors like Vercel's Guillermo Rauch, AngelList's Naval Ravikant, Intercom's Des Traynor, Ed Roman, and Salil Deshpande. This recent funding round brings our total funding to ~$10M USD.
So, I just wanted to share our bigger vision for the developer community, and explain where we are heading.
Let's start with the fact that developers are becoming aware of content ownership, and personal branding. They understand if they are publishing their content on a third-party website in exchange for views, they are doing it wrong. We launched Hashnode last year based on the fundamental idea of blogging on a custom domain and owning the content, which instantly resonated with the developer audience.
To start with, we abstract away all the boring parts of tech blogging, and help our users run fully optimized developer blogs on custom domains easily. Next, we connect all our bloggers via a built-in developer community for exchanging ideas, and feedback. We launched in June 2020, and have grown 13x since then.
Users from top companies like Netflix, Google, Facebook, etc to emerging developers and new talents trust Hashnode when it comes to running a developer blog. Developers and the broader tech community prefer to own their content and don't want to re-invent the wheel when it comes to blogging. With Hashnode, they get a fully optimized developer blog running on a custom domain for free within minutes.
Here are some tweets that highlight the smooth, and hassle-free experience Hashnode offers.
Speed and Performance
Today speed is everything. We are big fans of Performance as a Feature philosophy. When you use Hashnode, you are getting a really fast Next.js powered blog served via Vercel -- all for free! We have invested a lot of our energy into making Hashnode-powered blogs faster, and more performant than the existing solutions. One of our key milestones was Vercel migration, which we completed last month.
As a result, Hashnode blogs are now served via Vercel's edge network, and take advantage of their world-class CDN. It also has a lot of impact on SEO. Google loves fast web pages, and Hashnode powered blogs are optimized for speed, and responsiveness. After our last update, we can definitely see improved SEO ranking as well.
Sandeep offered a high-level overview of our recent migration to Vercel in this article.
Monetization for creators
Developers are now decision-makers, and the power has really shifted to their side. As a result, more and more developers are starting their blogs, sharing their knowledge, and becoming creators. But monetization remains a key challenge. Developers don't like ads, and need a better, and sustainable way to fund their creative work. That's why we recently launched Hashnode Sponsors program in public beta to help authors directly raise money from their supporters.
It's still experimental, and we're only scratching the surface here. However, we are collecting feedback, and have been working on improving our offering. We're going to open it up to the public later this year once we are confident.
Building the next-gen connected dev communities
Our grand vision is to build connected developer communities on a global scale. We're changing the way developers share their knowledge. In future, we are going to change the way companies build their developer communities. With one Hashnode account, you can be a part of thousands of developer communities and individual blogs.
When responding to our investors, we explained them our vision for connected developer communities. We believe every dev focused company or project has the following three components:
- Engineering/Tech blog
- API Docs or knowledge base
- Developer Community
We're getting ready to own the first part. But our broader vision is to own all the three aspects of communities, and offer what we call "Developer Hubs". Any business or organization that is selling to developers, or has an API that devs can use, is going to find Hashnode interesting. We made blogging frictionless. Similarly, we are going to help companies run fully optimized developer communities on their custom domain using Hashnode. The best part is that these developer communities are going to be connected through a central dev community, and anyone with a Hashnode account will be able to interact with them.
At the moment, we're working on a pricing strategy, and are preparing to launch "Team Publications", and an "Enthusiast Plan".
Team Publications: To help businesses run their engineering blog using Hashnode, and showcase their work in the Hashnode community. It's in private beta currently, and we are working with a handful of companies to understand their requirements and improve.
Enthusiast Tier: Offer advanced features to the bloggers who want to take their blogging experience to the next level. There will always be a version of Hashnode that's free for independent developers.
Parallelly, we'll continue working on the other two aspects of Devloper Hubs, and keep making the existing platform stronger.
I'll take this opportunity to thank our active community members — without you, we wouldn’t even exist. You've proven that the tech community cares about content ownership and personal branding. We love reading your Tweets every day. Keep spreading the love. ✌️
Lastly, I would like to thank our passionate team members. You have worked tirelessly day and night, often at a great personal sacrifice. Let's take Hashnode to the moon. 🚀
Onward and Upward
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up to date with the latest announcements.