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As a Google Partner with Fresh Capital, Zesty.io Aims to Disrupt CMS


After establishing a partnership with the Google Cloud Platform, Zesty.io CEO Gerry Widmer said Wednesday the San Diego-based company is expanding its workforce and extending its Web content management system (WCMS) to international customers.

The three-year-old company already provides its content management system on a software-as-a-service basis (SaaS) for such customers as Sony, Acorns.com, and Rocket League, said Widmer, who took over as CEO from Zesty.io founder Randy Apuzzo at the end of 2017. (Apuzzo shifted to his preferred role as CTO.)

Zesty also added $1.5 million at the end of last year in a seed round led by the boutique private equity firm ClearVision Equity Partners. With $1.3 million in previous funding, the additional capital brings Zesty.io’s total  to about $2.8 million since 2015, Widmer said. As a result, Zesty has been hiring. “We’re 13 going on 20 by the end of June,” Widmer said.

While there are scores of content management systems for Web-based publishing, Widmer said Zesty is the first SaaS-based CMS to be listed as an official partner on the Google Cloud Platform. “They’re investing in us, and we’re investing in them,” Widmer said. The collaboration enables Zesty.io to set its sights on joining the upper ranks of legacy WCMS providers like Drupal, Sitecore, and Contentful, Widmer said.

Zesty.io CEO Gerry Widmer (Zesty.io image used with permission)
Zesty.io CEO Gerry Widmer (Zesty.io image used with permission)

In a blog earlier this year, Widmer argued that many legacy CMS providers have failed to keep up with next-generation SaaS-based providers like Zesty.io. To compensate, Widmer wrote, “legacy platforms have essentially tried to put their software in the cloud. These cloud-washed options are not true SaaS solutions but rather a pretty Band-Aid applied to disguise the fact that they are struggling to stay relevant.”

Through its work with the Google Cloud Platform team over the past year, Widmer said Zesty has advanced its proprietary software “to the point where it is really solid. It’s enterprise grade now.

“We’re going against the big guys from an enterprise perspective,” Widmer said. “We’re really providing [our customers’] marketing teams with a better experience for updating their content, and a better experience for developers, so they don’t have to spend as much time [working] on their websites.”


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