Almost exactly 8 years ago today, the Webflow team consisted of just the 3 co-founders stubbornly trying to prove that visual web development could replace a lot of coding and actually work.
We had a string of big disappointments under our belts including a failed Kickstarter campaign, a fresh rejection from Y Combinator, and tens of thousands of dollars of credit card and medical bills.
We didn’t have a working product, which meant we had zero users, which unfortunately meant that we had zero revenue and zero income for ourselves and our families. In fact, we were just one month away from calling it quits and going back to our previous jobs out of financial desperation.
Fast forward to today, and the difference could not be more stark. We just ended 2020 with a team 225 strong, working across the globe. Webflow is now a worldwide presence, with over 2 million users and over 100,000 customers across 190 countries. And our infrastructure serves billions of requests per month, as tens of thousands of projects launch on Webflow every month.
Today, we’re announcing that we’ve raised an additional $140 million in Series B funding, bringing Webflow’s valuation north of $2.1 billion. Yes, with a `B` — which feels surreal to even type knowing where our story started many years ago. And on a personal note, it feels even more surreal knowing that my family arrived here as refugees from the Soviet Union 30 years ago with less than a thousand dollars to our name.
To say that we’re lucky and grateful would be an immense understatement, and we owe it to our community, our customers, and our team who have all helped us get to this important milestone.
Multiplying our ability to transform web development
So why raise additional money now?
The truth is, we didn’t have to. In fact, we ended up being cash-flow positive in 2020, ending the year with more cash on hand than when the year first started.
However, the events of this past year showed us how important it is to have more flexibility and optionality, and how important it is to feel empowered to pursue big bets even when they are financially risky. In 2020, the uncertainty and volatility in the markets took us for a loop, and we ended up slowing down in several key ways — most notably our pace of hiring — that was ultimately driven by the fear of running out of cash.
But 2020 was also the year that showed us just how much positive impact Webflow can have for the world. We saw tens of thousands of people start using our product to make a living, many of whom were learning web development as a new skill after being laid off from another job. We witnessed thousands of businesses going online quickly when they had to shut down their physical locations, helping many of them survive the pandemic. Entire countries ran public health awareness campaigns on Webflow. Webflow was even used to facilitate critical personal protective equipment (PPE) between donors and care providers who needed it much quicker than normal supply chains at the time — something we are confident helped protect people from sickness and even saved lives.
Yet there is still so much opportunity to do more. Even with COVID-19 pushing more of the economy online, the Internet still only accounts for less than 15% of all worldwide commerce. In other words, the web is just getting started, and we’re barely scratching the surface of what’s possible and — more importantly — who is empowered to create for it. This new funding helps us accelerate that pursuit and gives us what we’re calling “courage capital” — the cash and safety buffer we need to courageously pursue our vision of transforming how people build for the web, and doing so as quickly as possible.
A big part of moving faster means bringing on the right people (we’re hiring by the way), which will enable us to invest more into product development, scalability, performance, security, accessibility, customer support, and so much more. This year we were proud to launch Webflow Enterprise to help enterprises enable their design and marketing teams, but we’re already hard at work on making Webflow even better for organizations of all sizes and evolving our platform to build not just websites but web applications as well.
Expanding our list of amazing partners
When we raised our Series A, it was a big step for us. With only co-founders on our board and having gone years without major outside investment, we were honestly a bit apprehensive of venture capital — thinking that it might erode our ability to build a sustainable company on our own terms, with our own culture, our own product vision, and our commitment to our values and principles.
In that round, Arun Mathew from Accel and Sri Rao from Silversmith joined our board, and now after nearly two years of working closely with them, we’re incredibly grateful for the way they’ve supported us and helped us scale. They have been true enabling partners in our mission and vision, the direct opposite of stereotypical VCs who push for a “growth at all costs” mentality. That’s why we’re thrilled to have Accel and Silversmith lead our Series B as well.
We’re also really lucky to have Laela Sturdy from CapitalG join the journey of scaling Webflow into an iconic company. Laela has been instrumental in helping other familiar companies like Stripe, UiPath, Duolingo, and Gusto multiply their potential, and we’re really excited to welcome her to our board.
Lastly, the unwavering support of our early seed investors over the years – including Rainfall, Draper Associates, and FundersClub – has left us feeling incredibly grateful and we’re glad they’ve all participated in this round as well.
Building an enduring company that will last generations
This fundraise is an inflection point for our company, our team, and our customers. It cements Webflow’s ability to create an organization and legacy that can last not just years, but generations.
It bolsters our courage to build and scale Webflow in a way that we believe serves the most people possible, not just a small set of shareholders. It helps us build a company that prioritizes the greater good, even if it comes at the cost of short-term financial gains.
Also, it’s not lost on us that we’re announcing this funding during a deadly pandemic that still has no certain end in sight. We see the millions of people experiencing discrimination, loss, sickness, joblessness, and hunger. In the face of this reality, we aspire to be a company and a team that uses our influence and power to leave the world in a better place than how we found it — and we’ll be sharing more news later this year to announce how we’ll be putting a significant portion of this new funding towards causes that help elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion.
And of course we’re planning to invest back in our community since you all played a large part in getting us here. Tomorrow, we’ll be announcing a program to help more startups thrive and be successful with Webflow. This program will give small organizations access to Webflow and the tools they need to scale and grow their businesses to the next level. This is just the beginning of our investment in the no code community and I’m really excited to share what else is coming when it’s ready.
As a company, we feel a higher responsibility than just creating another business that generates profits for a few folks, and we’re grateful to have found venture partners who wholeheartedly support us in that responsibility. We’re inspired by something Simon Sinek writes in his book The Infinite Game:
“The responsibility of business is to use its will and resources to advance a cause greater than itself, protect the people and places in which it operates and generate more resources so that it can continue doing all those things for as long as possible.”
At Webflow, we found that worthy cause in empowering people to create software in a fundamentally more approachable way than writing code — and it’s a cause that will take decades of careful attention and innovation to pursue. In 2020, we saw just how crucial it is for us to keep championing this cause.
We feel the urgency from our community. With this funding, we’re able to dramatically advance our mission and vision — on our own terms — into this decade and beyond.