NEWS · January 7th 2021

2020: In Review

Entering 2020 we hoped to continue the great journey that we left behind in 2019. Looking back now, we are proud to conclude we did that, and more.

Magnus Hillestad

Magnus is CEO and co-founder of Sanity.io

Clearly, 2020 has been a challenging year. COVID-19 has created hard situations, impacted the less fortunate the most, and amplified existing inequalities. The Black Lives Matter movement has again shown us how important it is to be part of the change and work for equality, equity, and inclusion. Our minds and hearts are with those who have or are experiencing hardship.

When looking narrowly back at what we achieved as a team at Sanity.io, we can still appreciate that the year was a massive success. We are grateful for reaching beyond our goals. It is clearer to us than ever that the large-scale digitalization trends, product-led developer tools, and data-driven approaches to content are accelerating our ability to drive growth.

Our year in summary

  • We tripled our community and customer base and welcomed household names like Sonos, Netlify, Cloudflare, National Geographic, and Unilever as Sanity users.
  • We continued to launch features around our core value proposition:
    • Collaboration: Review Changes enables real-time collaboration and control with the ability to roll back changes, while Presence brings live in-team coordination to the table
    • Customization: Sanity UI allows easier customization of the editing environment
    • Content as Data: Advanced Dataset Management reduces the risk in production and improved quality assurance workflows
  • We grew as a company. Our team now counts more than 40 fantastic members. We raised our Series A, lead by Threshold Ventures, and supported by a range of angels from Vercel, Heroku, Twitter, and Medium.
  • We continue to work on diversity. We have moved the needle and will continue to do so.

Community: Doubling down for 3x engagement

Last year we tripled our users, community, and customers. More than 70,000 projects have been initialized on Sanity, and our Slack community is nearly 10,000 members. In December, we launched a community exchange to share plugins, extensions, showcases, and guides easily.

We attracted new businesses such as Cloudflare, Brex, Figma, and Remarkable, as well as established brands like National Geographic, Sonos, Flex, and Unilever.

We strengthened our developer relations teams and our team of solution engineers and account executives to support the community and customers that engage with us.

Building the ultimate content platform

It makes our day seeing Sanity used at all scales, from single developers building simple sites to enterprises getting more value through service integration. We think this spread proves out our logic – whatever the size of your project· you will benefit from:

  • Collaboration
  • Customization
  • Content as data

These are also the major themes for our product development in 2020.

Collaboration: Best in class real-time workflows for content creators

Sanity is the best platform for collaborative content creation. No document locked for editing. You can even update a document via APIs while your editor(s) are working on it. Just pure, simple real-time collaboration.

This year we raised the bar by completing our new Review Changes feature - it lets you see where your colleagues are editing, what edits they have done and gives you the option to roll back individual changes through the Studio or the API. You can customize how content changes are displayed depending on what type of content it is.

We also launched customizable actions, user presence indication, and a new project administration UI that is better for team usage.

Customizable: The ultimate developer experience. Fast without ever holding you back

The Sanity editing environment ships as an open-source React application. It’s designed to be extended by developers using tools they already know from front-end development.

This year we made it even simpler and faster to customize the editing environment by launching Sanity UI. Sanity UI is a component library for React that lets you pick and choose amongst accessible and performant UI components for faster development.

Our developer relations team and community both published a string of guides showing how you can extend Sanity Studio environment to improve the experience for editors and adapt it to your own infrastructure.

Content as data: Structured content from a single source API to any digital surface

Content Velocity is a key revenue driver for any modern business, and it should be at the heart of an organization. With Structured Content, we enable businesses to treat their content as a data source, accelerating content velocity by enabling distribution to any application from a single source of truth.

Sanity has a uniquely flexible and powerful architecture, so our hosted content backend lets you work with content in this novel way. To make it even faster and easier for large organizations to work with structured content, we launched Advanced Dataset Management for faster cloning of datasets between environments and hot-swapping to instantly change what data is served on an API endpoint, de-risking changes to systems in production.

Building a company

Not only did developers and customers trust us in 2020. We also raised our series A, led by Threshold Ventures and various angels from companies such as Vercel, Twitter, Medium, WP Engine, and Heroku.

Sanity is on a mission to define a new category by creating the fastest, most flexible content creation and distribution technology for a connected age. We need a team that can take us there, and for this, we need resources.

We’ve grown our organization across all functions from front-end to full-stack to operations to sales to customer success. We went into 2020 aspiring to have stateside operations, and out of it with 16 full-time employees in the US of A. And we officially passed the 40 employee total mark.

We're so stoked about our talented and excellent new colleagues. Welcome to Alexander, Anders, Armando, Benedicte, Bryan, Carolina, Dain, Fred, Hayley, Herman, Jose, Kapehe, Markus, Mikolaj, Peter, Rex, Shur, Storee, Tarun, Tony, and Will! And we’re still hiring.

Moving the needle on diversity and inclusion

The Black Lives Matter events of 2020 impacted us profoundly. Although diversity and inclusion were on our agenda entering the year, we have further intensified our efforts.

We have spent time internally talking and increasing our awareness around diversity and implemented strict diversity gateways in our hiring process.

We do not believe we have moved the needle far enough, but going from 18% to 33% of our team characterized as diverse is clearly a step in the right direction.

Looking ahead at 2021

2020 has been a year out of the ordinary, but it’s been extraordinary for Sanity.io. And we have so much planned for 2021. The basic ingredients of the Sanity platform

  • Content as data: We will continue to move the needle on how you view content as data and how you interoperate content in your stack and across your organization
  • Collaboration: We have planned features that would further enhance the editing experience, and the ability teams have to work together
  • Customization: We will continue our path of making it easier and faster for you to build and iterate on the workflows your team needs to drive content velocity efficiently

There are so many new exciting possibilities and unlocks for the community and customers alike. Here’s to 2021 – we can’t wait to show you what can be done!