Squarespace

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Squarespace, Inc.
Squarespace Logo.svg
Type of business Private
Type of site
SaaS-based hosting platform
Headquarters New York City, New York
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Anthony Casalena
CEO Anthony Casalena
Industry Internet
Products Website builder and hosting service
Employees 797 (2018)
Website www.squarespace.com
Alexa rank Increase 674 (As of 10 October 2016)[1]
Registration Required; subscription needed for certain features.
Launched April 2003; 15 years ago (2003-04)

Squarespace is an American private company that provides software as a service for website building and hosting and is headquartered in New York City. The Squarespace service uses pre-built website templates and drag and drop elements to create webpages.

Anthony Casalena started developing Squarespace for personal use as a blog hosting service while attending the University of Maryland and founded the company in 2003. He was the only employee until 2007, when the company reached $1 million in revenues and Casalena started hiring. By 2014 Squarespace had raised a total of $78.5 million in venture capital to fund advertising and growth. The company grew from 30 employees in 2010 to 550 by 2015. The Squarespace service was further developed, adding e-commerce tools, domain name services, and analytics, while removing the coding backend in favor of drag and drop features.

Company history

Casalena began developing Squarespace for personal use while attending the University of Maryland.[2][3] He started sharing the tool with friends and family members[2] and participated in a business incubator program at the university.[3] Squarespace was launched publicly in April 2003.[3][4] Initially it was funded by $30,000 from Casalena's father, a small grant from the university's incubator program, and 300 beta testers who paid a discounted rate.[3][5][6][7] Casalena was the sole developer and employee, creating the original Squarespace out of his dorm room.[3][6]

Casalena graduated college in 2007, by which time Squarespace was making $1 million in revenue annually.[4] He moved to New York City and began hiring, growing Squarespace to 30 employees by 2010.[4][7] That year, Squarespace raised $38.5 million in its first round of venture capital funding, which was used to hire additional staff and further develop the Squarespace software.[8] This funding marked the beginning of a more aggressive growth plan for the company.[2] Squarespace doubled its marketing budget.[2] From 2009 to 2012, Squarespace grew an average of 266% in revenue.[9] Another $40 million was raised in a second funding round in April 2014.[10] By 2015, Squarespace had $100 million in revenues and 550 employees.[4]

Squarespace purchased its first Super Bowl advertising spot in 2014.[2] This was followed by Super Bowl ads each year in 2015,[11] 2016,[12] 2017,[13] and 2018.[14] The 2017 ad won an Emmy Award in the "outstanding commercial" category.[13] In 2017, Squarespace also signed a sponsorship deal with the New York Knicks, adding the Squarespace logo to their uniforms.[15]

After the Unite the Right rally in 2017 and a petition with 58,000 signatures, Squarespace removed a group of websites for violating its terms of service against "bigotry or hatred" towards a demographic group.[16][17] In 2017, Squarespace raised an additional $200 million in funding, valuing the company at $1.7 billion.[18] The money was ear-marked for re-acquiring interests from investors.[18]

Software

As of 2016, it hosts more than one million websites.[4] Users of the service build websites using pre-built website templates and a variety of drag and drop widgets for common website elements, such as text or images.[8] Developers can also create custom website templates that are sold to users.[8] On-screen instructions walk users through things like search engine optimization or setting up e-commerce inventory.[4]

Initially Squarespace was primarily built for creating and hosting blogs.[5] E-commerce features, such as an integration with Stripe in order to accept credit card payments, were added in 2013.[19] This was followed by a mobile version of Squarespace in 2014, more commerce features, and a developer center for programmers creating custom templates or features.[20] Additionally, in 2014 Squarespace introduced a logo-creation app in partnership with the Noun Project, which designs icons.[21]

In 2011, the Squarespace service was reworked with version 6, incorporating new templates, a grid-based user interface, and other enhancements.[8] It was overhauled again in 2014 with version 7, which phased out the coding backend of Squarespace in favor of a drag and drop interface.[22][23] Squarespace 7 also added integration with Google Apps for Work and Getty Images.[10] In 2016, Squarespace started selling domains, putting it in more direct competition with GoDaddy.[24] It also added an analytics dashboard[25] and integration with PayPal.[26]

References

  1. ^ "Squarespace.com Site Info". Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cole, Samantha (May 21, 2014). "How Squarespace's CEO Pivoted to Scale for Millions". Fast Company. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lohr, Greg (April 23, 2004). "University of Maryland Student in a Class by Himself". Washington Business Journal.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Clifford, Catherine (April 22, 2016). "How Squarespace Went From a Dorm-Room Project to a $100 Million Web Publishing Platform". Entrepreneur. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "How Squarespace became a multimillion dollar publishing giant". TechRepublic. June 30, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Caumont, Andrea (September 13, 2004). "Squarespace Lets Users Manage Multi-Page Web Sites". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ a b Evelyn Rusli (July 13, 2010). "Squarespace Raises $38.5 Million From Accel, Index Ventures". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Squarespace 6: Rebuilt From The Ground Up To Take On WordPress, Tumblr And Everyone Else". TechCrunch. October 21, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Fast 50". Crain’s New York Business. October 7, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Warren, Christina (October 7, 2014). "Squarespace Ramps up its Tools to Compete with Wordpress". Mashable.
  11. ^ Stampler, Laura (January 28, 2015). "This Super Bowl Ad Purposely Wants to Put You to Sleep". Time. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  12. ^ "Key and Peele turn Squarespace's Super Bowl ad into an event". USA TODAY. January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Squarespace's Super Bowl Ad With John Malkovich Wins the Emmy for Best Commercial". AdWeek. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Poggi., Jeanine (January 31, 2018). "Squarespace's Super Bowl Ad Is Just Keanu Standing on a Motorcycle". AdAge. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Soshnick, Scott (October 10, 2017). "Knicks Team Up With Squarespace for Patch Sponsorship Deal". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "Website host Squarespace to remove a 'group of sites' after violence at Charlottesville white nationalist rally". Washington Post. August 17, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Squarespace won't host your racist websites, either". CNET. July 23, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Vynck, Gerrit De (December 14, 2017). "Squarespace Raises Funding at $1.7 Billion Valuation". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Summers, Nick (February 14, 2013). "Squarespace Adds Commerce Tools To Its Website Builder". The Next Web. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  20. ^ Novet, Jordan (April 16, 2014). "Don't forget about website runner Squarespace. It just raised $40M". VentureBeat. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  21. ^ Brownlee, John (January 22, 2014). "Squarespace Makes Designing A Logo Dead Simple". Co.Design. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  22. ^ Nudd, Tim (October 20, 2014). "Squarespace's Radical Update Is Like a Blank Canvas. So Its New Ads Are, Too". Adweek.
  23. ^ Rhodes, Margaret (October 7, 2014). "The New Squarespace is a UX Dream that Eliminates the Backend Entirely". Wired.
  24. ^ Ungerleider, Neal (April 15, 2016). "Now Competing To Be The Master Of Your Domain: Squarespace". Fast Company. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  25. ^ Ha, Anthony (June 14, 2016). "Squarespace introduces new analytics for its commerce-focused customers". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Squarespace businesses can now accept PayPal". The Next Web. November 1, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2018.

External links