GGV Invests in Vercel’s $102M Series C: A Killer Platform for Front-End Web Development

I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time with Vercel Founder & CEO Guillermo Rauch – lots to learn from Guillermo!

What do companies as diverse as Carhartt, Hulu, IBM, McDonald’s, and Facebook have in common? Their developers all use Vercel, a platform to develop, preview, and ship front-end websites, to build and deploy their websites. Whether a developer is building just a few static pages or billions of dynamic pages, Vercel, based on the Next.js open source framework, can easily scale to help them create the next big thing faster. Vercel’s incredible versatility and ease-of-use has won over the hearts and minds of millions of front-end web developers worldwide, and that’s why GGV is so excited to invest in Vercel’s $102 million Series C round. 

Vercel was founded by Guillermo Rauch, a repeat founder and prominent open source developer who recognized the bulk of front-end web development was moving to JAMstack, a new architecture that simplifies front-end development and makes web apps perform better for users. Over the past 5 years, JAMstack has taken the front-end development world by storm and given rise to new open source frameworks that have been adopted en masse. Vercel has built one of the most popular open source front-end frameworks for JAMStack, Next.js, which has become the leading JavaScript framework for front-end web development. Vercel has also built and scaled a popular commercial product that has quickly become the best-in-class tool for building, deploying, and hosting JAMstack websites and web apps. Quite simply, Vercel is building the central platform on which all modern front-end developers will work.

Vercel and Next.js are catching on fast among a fervent community of web developers. Next.js has so far been downloaded over 6 million times and, since the first Next.js developer conference last October, the number of homepages among the world’s 10,000 largest websites using Next.js has grown by 50%. Websites running on Next.js include TikTok, Ticketmaster, and Marvel.

Guillermo is the right founder to build Vercel into a multi-billion dollar company. He has already built two successful software companies, LearnBoost and Cloudup, which was acquired by Automattic in 2013, and he created several popular Node.js open source libraries like, Mongoose, and Slackin before building the foundations of Next.js. So he not only understands the technical advantages of open source as a developer himself, but knows how to turn open source frameworks into profitable businesses. 

What really sets Vercel apart is just how massive its market opportunity is. Web developers typically had to have extensive skill building both the front and back ends of websites, but the rise of the API economy has eliminated much of the complex, tedious work developers had to do on the backend. With Vercel, any developer who has mastered JavaScript can build full websites, using Vercel for the front-end and offloading back-end tasks to plug-in APIs. This means tens of millions of developers—anyone who knows JavaScript—could feasibly use Vercel in the future. Vercel is also blazingly fast. It integrates directly into a customer’s GitHub, GitLab, or BitBucket repository, automatically building and deploying a version of the site the developer is building with each push. Without Vercel, it could take from days to weeks to generate a working preview of a site, but with Vercel, this is reduced to seconds.

Vercel is changing the way developers build high-quality, high-performance websites, making the internet a better experience for everyone. We’re thrilled to invest in Guillermo and the entire team at Vercel. We can’t wait to see what they build next!

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