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Why NFX Invested in The.com: The Low-Code Website Building Platform

James Currier · @jamescurrier · Jan 2022

Why NFX Invested in The.com

If you’re building websites with WordPress today, you’re going to want to switch to The.com. It’s a social, low-code website building platform where millions will now be able to rip and mix the Web, as it should be. It brings a GitHub-like approach of community and collaboration to the process of creating the front end of the Web. And like the best of Web3, The.com brings composability, ownership and payments to creators.

We think we’re long overdue for category innovation like this.

The.com is based in San Francisco, and was founded by brothers Jeff and Clarke McKinnon. They know the problem first hand because they tried every product in the market while building 1000’s of websites at their own web development agency.

In addition to the fit of founders with their product and market, here are four reasons we invested in The.com.

1. Network Effects and Community

The.com makes website building social. GitHub and Web3 over the last decade have shown us that we can see each other and collaborate on creating, but until The.com, no one had applied those proven network approaches to creating the network for website building.

Now creators can see each other, collaborate, share their work with others to be remixed and repurposed. It’s a community. You don’t have to low-code alone.

Activity on The.com builds both network size and density, and provides fertile approaches for viral growth. Every new user of The.com makes the platform more valuable for all the other users, making them faster, more creative Web developers by building on each others’ work.

2. New Website Building Behaviors

In the last 20 years, we’ve only seen five major innovations in Website building:

2003: WordPress brings open source to the masses
2006: Wix offers drag-and-drop
2006: Shopify makes it easy to sell physical products online
2012: Webflow helps designers build websites
2016: Headless commerce

The new internet needs a new platform. The.com brings a Web3 culture and approaches to their platform. It bringing a long list of novel behaviors to the web building space, many of which have a chance to be transformative: profile ownership and network building among creators, native chat and live collab, native payments, page versioning, Block development and sharing, royalties on Blocks, persistent credit and recognition, vertical integration of a jamstack type platform, a cell (spreadsheet like) interface, etc. In the future, creators will be able to receive royalties for their work when it’s remixed.

We like The.com’s approach because they focus as much on HOW creators build things equally with what they build. They have thought about the problem space in fundamentally new ways, so they have built a platform that allows for many new behaviors for creators. Giving people new and powerful behaviors is the hallmark of companies that become category defining.

3. Better Product

The website ecosystem has a lot of moving pieces such SSL, hosting, site platforms, digital asset management, plugins, security, payments, etc. They each have their own problems and rarely function well with each other.

The.com’s framework integrates both vertically and horizontally in a way we’ve not seen, but makes so much sense. We can see in the numbers that this approach results in better builds, faster load times, higher conversions and better search rankings. It allows for full customization, reusability, and sharing, while also allowing beginners to be successful with Blocks and more simple approaches.

4. The Metaverse is already here, it’s just 2D

40 years after the book Snow Crash and 20 years after SecondLife brought us the first version of a 3D metaverse, the buzz on “metaverse” is back courtesy of Facebook management.

But the metaverse is already here. We already live in the digital world 8 hours a day. It’s just we live in old and busted website frameworks from 25 years ago like WordPress, so it’s slow and tedious.

Sure, eventually, some part of our metaverse will be 3D, but most of it doesn’t benefit from 3D rendering and will stay 2D.

What we need is a faster and composable framework for making this 2D metaverse awesome.

Right now the 2D web is still 10% of what it can be, and The.com is here to fix that problem.


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