Ninetailed, the Berlin-based content personalization and experimentation startup, has raised $5M in seed funding—and it’s a funding round that tells an important story about the broader MACH movement.
Funding into the MACH space is certainly nothing new. Members of the MACH Alliance have accumulated over $2.5 billion in funding to date, with no signs of growth or funding slowing down within the MACH Alliance, or across the broader MACH landscape.
With that said, what makes Ninetailed’s story so notable?
The MACH Movement Must Transcend Content and Commerce Platforms
So far, most of the championing of MACH (Microservices, APIs, Cloud-based, Headless) has come through the mouthpieces of web content management vendors, eCommerce vendors, and the system integrators working in partnership with them.
And for a good reason. Depending on the nature of the project, the CMS or the eCommerce platform is the foundational bedrock of any MACH digital experience platform.
However, so long as the championing of MACH remains exclusively with these foundational systems, the MACH-o-sphere’s growth will be limited.
Let me explain why.
The MACH trend has emerged as the bulwark against legacy monoliths that cram numerous products and functionalities into a single platform, acting as a jam-packed (and expensive) Swiss army knife.
A MACH ecosystem is less of a Swiss army knife and more of a custom-curated toolbox of highly specialized instruments. All the functionality you need is technically available, and this time, you get to choose the best tools for each job and swap them out whenever necessary.
While the CMS and eCommerce systems play an integral role in that toolbox, there’s no doubt that enterprises need other tools working in tandem. CRMs, DAMs, PIMs, search engines, personalization platforms, and more.
And sure, with APIs bridging the gaps between these disparate systems, the toolbox is technically harmonious. Everything can work together. But is mere technical viability enough if we’re banking on MACH architecture taking a larger slices of the enterprise pie from the plates of monoliths?
The Ninetailed Model
Ninetailed is one of the few startups in the space built from day one to be a part of the new wave of MACH technology. It’s talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to furthering MACH principles and composable architecture despite being neither a CMS vendor nor an eCommerce solution provider. This is significant.
For the MACH trend to sustainably extend beyond CMS and commerce systems, it requires players like Ninetailed, which are hyper-focused on adjacent spaces (in this case, content personalization and experimentation), to help beef up the ecosystem with architecturally-aligned microservices that aren’t just technically compatible, but philosophically, too.
After launching in 2021, Ninetailed caught my eye because it stood out as an adjacent microservice that genuinely grasped this concept. With a composable, API-first product, Ninetailed got to work on building partnerships in the space and advocating MACH and composability to its audience and customers.
Today, Ninetailed boasts numerous technology partnerships and integrations in the MACH space. Contentful, commercetools, Contentstack, Storyblok, Hygraph, Vercel, Netlify, Apply Digital, and Orium are all active members of the MACH Alliance, while Stackbit and Sanity, make up just some of the names outside of the MACH Alliance, but well within the boundaries of the MACH architecture movement.
Buyers Need to See MACH Going at MACH Speed
Let’s look at this from a buyer’s perspective.
After years of dealing with a monolith, you’re just starting to kick the wheels of this new MACH trend. Is it a technological paradigm shift worth migrating for, or a phase that should be ignored?
When microservices adjacent to the CMS or eCommerce platform publicly buy-in and promote the movement, the feeling that the MACH and composable trend might be just CMS-sponsored propaganda fades. Instead, you get the sense that the MACH trend is making waves across categories and industries and that the end is near for bloated, expensive, and under-performing Swiss army knives.
There’s a stark difference between hearing that a composable ecosystem is technically viable and hearing that all its components are actively buying into the underlying philosophy to make it as seamless as possible.
These are the green flags buyers seek, and Ninetailed just planted one for the team.