Netlify acquires Gatsby Inc, with focus on plugin ecosystem and Valhalla content hub

Netlify acquires Gatsby Inc, with focus on plugin ecosystem and Valhalla content hub

Netlify has acquired Gatsby Inc, the San Francisco based company which is also steward of the open source Gatsby.js framework. Netlify has promised to be “good stewards of the open source project” but is focused on other parts of the platform, in particular the plugin ecosystem and the GraphSQL API called Valhalla Content Hub.

The Gatsby framework, first released in 2015, is a static site generator built with React, GraphQL (a query language for APIs) and Node.js. It is open source on GitHub under the MIT license.

Gatsby Inc operates the commercial Gatsby Cloud, for hosting Gatsby web sites, as well as other features such as live preview, server-side functions, an Edge network, and since November 2022, the Valhalla Content Hub which the company described as “a unified GraphQL layer for any web application.” Valhalla does not have to be used with Gatsby but can work with any framework, including favorites like Next.js and Svelte.

Gatsby also supports plugins which integrate Gatsby’s GraphQL layer with other data sources such as headless content management systems, as well as adding functionality such as progressive images, analytic libraries, or RSS feeds.

Netlify intends to integrate the Gatsby Cloud with its own hosting platform, as well as improving the cross-framework appeal of the plugins and Valhalla hub.

Gatsby is not the most fashionable platform today, though according to the large State of JavaScript 2022 survey it is the second most-used rendering framework after Next.js – though only about half as popular. Ask developers what they are interested in though, and Gatsby declines to 7th place. Nevertheless, its reputation for performance is good and it has a foothold in the enterprise market – and the State of JavaScript survey results site itself is “built with Gatsby.” According to today’s press release, Gatsby Inc has been growing revenue “more than 100% year over year”.

Netlify CEO Matt Biilmann told DevClass: “As a front-end framework, Gatsby has found a sweet spot in large content driven sites for midmarket to enterprise customers, typically with more than one content source. We’ll be good stewards of the open source project, but it’s not the focus of our acquisition. What set Gatsby apart was their source plugin ecosystem, giving developers an easy way to get content and data into their UI. Their new Valhalla Content Hub product line is built on top of this and makes the source plugins available to any modern framework, whether you’re using Next, Astro, Remix or the like. We see it as a strong way to increase the platform’s reach and bring the power of its content orchestration to all Netlify projects, no matter which framework or tools developers employ.”  

The acquisition also gives Netlify charge of a major JavaScript framework, whereas the current favorite Next.js is stewarded by Netlify competitor Vercel.