Max’s Startup Radar: Squarespace

What is Squarespace?

You have probably forgotten about the Super Bowl commercial from February that featured Jeff Bridges playing a flute and talking about sleeping. It was a commercial that attempted to direct millions of people to to showcase how beautiful Squarespace’s product is. So what is its product? Website templates and hosting. Whether you are building a website to showcase your photography or creating an online store for the first time, Squarespace is no doubt the best option.

Squarespace is not the first company to create a simple website builder but they do it the best. I really don’t have anything to point to that is their secret sauce but they have kind of been flying under the radar when it comes to tech companies publicity. As tons of start-ups continue to raise money, receiving scrutiny from journalist and tech heads alike about run rates and valuations, Squarespace has only raised two rounds of funding in its 13 years as a company.

Anthony Casalena created Squarespace while completeing his B.S. in Computer Science at The University of Maryland. Because they charge a monthly fee to host websites, buy domains, and use their templates, they did not need to give up equity for a cash influx to help growth. Their focus on organic growth means Anthony and Squarespace’s founders get to hold on to more equity, more control, and fly under the radar a bit despite raising almost $40 million in 2010 and another $40 million 2014.

Why do I like it?

I like Squarespace because they have the most gorgeous templates with the easiest to use interface, most seamless plug-ins, and most affordable prices.

As mentioned before, the other reason I like Squarespace is because they have grown more organically than most companies with their success. In 13 years they have only raised two formal rounds of funding and yet all signs point to them being stronger than ever. Strong organic growth companies might not be the sexiest companies but I love them so much. Self sustaining companies deserve far more respect than they currently receive. Granted, Squarespace is not 100% self sustained, but far more self sustaining than any of it’s counterparts, and there for receives much more recognition in my book.

Bigger Picture

It would be easy to think of a company like Wix, GoDaddy, or even Amazon buying Squarespace. They would add a solid stream of revenue, (CNBC resports more than $100 million annually), and an amazing design team. In case you couldn’t tell by now, I think everyone should take a page out of their design book. But back to the big picture… Instead of getting acquired, I would like to see Squarespace take on Google and Microsoft by offering solutions for small businesses such as e-mail services, file hosting, and cloud storage for content providers.

What is Max’s Startup Radar?

Every Wednesday I try to post a little blurb about a cool start-up or product that has popped up on my radar. It could be big, small, old, or new. (Posts are not product endorsements or solicitations for investment) Suggestions? Comments? Opinions? Let me know on Twitter @mbidna or comment below!