Website building service Weebly announced on Tuesday that it has raised $35 million in Series C financing from Sequoia Capital and Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings, Ltd, bringing the valuation of the company to $455 million.
Drag-and-drop website builder Weebly was launched eight years ago in San Francisco, and as of August 2013 hosted over 20 million sites. The latest investment will be used to expand Weebly into new markets and increase investment in R&D.
The news of Weebly’s latest funding round comes as website building companies have seen increased interest from investors. Recently, DIY website builder SquareSpace raised $40 million from General Atlantic in a Series B funding round.
“We believe the future lies in entrepreneurship and empowering people to take their idea and deliver it to the world. As technology takes over the workplace and impacts the job market on a global scale, we want to be the entrepreneurial springboard that helps everyone bring their idea to life,” David Rusenko, CEO and co-founder of Weebly said. “With the support from Sequoia and Tencent, this next phase for us means making Weebly more accessible. We will continue to build an empowering technology platform that helps people turn ideas or passions into scalable businesses.”
Weebly is currently available in 12 languages, but if the investment is to help drive the website builder in new markets outside of the US, the number of languages could increase.
Last year, Weebly launched its ecommerce platform to make as easy for customers to build an online store as it is to build a blog or website.
Weebly has focused its website builder on entrepreneurs, and in an interview last year with TechCrunch said of its 20 million users, 60 percent consider themselves entrepreneurs.
As service providers repackage their offerings and establish partnerships to target the SMB market, DIY website builders like Weebly are also in a position to go after this market, particularly as they continue to add capabilities such as ecommerce. This puts increasing pressure on providers to offer services that meet specific SMB needs, such as security or ecommerce, rather than infrastructure.