Squarespace, the DIY website builder, has raised $40 million from a single investor, General Atlantic, in a Series B funding round on Tuesday. General Atlantic managing director and head of Internet & Technology Anton Levy will join Squarespace’s board of directors.
“The partnership with General Atlantic signals the scaling of our ambition – we will improve the overall Squarespace experience, make it available to more people around the world, and demonstrate a commitment to products that go beyond websites and online stores,” Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena said in a statement.
Though Squarespace has existed since 2004, recently it has picked up steam in the marketplace with a $40 million marketing budget this year (double its marketing budget in 2013). The company’s first big marketing bet of 2014 was at the Super Bowl, where it debuted as a first-time advertiser.
Squarespace is one of a number of tools that offer a fully-hosted website builder direct to consumers, competing with web hosts. As small and medium-sized businesses, micro businesses and individuals look for inexpensive ways to get online, many are approaching it from the DIY website builder angle, rather than finding web hosting, and then building a website.
Website builders like Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.com all compete in this space, though some website builders, like Yola, for example, offer a direct to consumer and a white-label website builder to web hosting providers, as well.
“It is increasingly important for hosts to offer a solution competitive with the current direct to consumer offerings,” Dave Saxton, VP Marketing and Business Development, Yola tells the WHIR. “The market remains incredibly fragmented and greenfield, and go-to-market messaging continues to move away from features and towards easy-to-use and understand overall solution.”
Squarespace said it will use its Series B round to continue scaling its engineering, design and infrastructure teams.
In an interview with Forbes earlier this year, Squarespace said it planned to double its headcount as well from its current 270, specifically targeting engineering talent in New York. The company will also be growing in Portland, where it plans to open a customer care office this spring, adding hundreds of employees over the next few years.
Recently Squarespace integrated a web-based ecommerce shipping solution from ShipStation, an added capability to its Squarespace Commerce platform, which was integrated into the builder last February for customers to sell physical and digital goods from their Squarespace sites. Squarespace Commerce is currently available in 12 countries.
“Squarespace’s best-in-class website publishing platform has made it uniquely appealing to businesses and consumers alike and has propelled its rapid growth,” Levy said. “We are very excited to be partnering with Anthony and his talented team to help Squarespace continue to be one of the most innovative solution providers on a global scale.”
Currently, Squarespace is used by “hundreds of thousands of customers in 121 countries who have collectively created millions of websites.”