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Squarespace, Inc. is a private American company, based in New York City, that provides software as a service for website building and hosting. Its customers use pre-built website templates and drag and drop elements to create webpages.

Anthony Casalena developed Squarespace as a blog-hosting service while attending the University of Maryland. He founded it as a company in 2004, and was its only employee until 2006, when it reached $1 million in revenue. The company grew from 30 employees in 2010 to 550 by 2015. By 2014, it raised a total of $78.5 million in venture capital; added e-commerce tools, domain name services, and analytics; and replaced its coding backend with drag and drop features.

Company history[edit]

Current Headquarters of Squarespace in Manhattan

Casalena began developing Squarespace for his personal use while attending the University of Maryland.[2][3] He started sharing it with friends and family members[2] and participated in a “business incubator” program at the university.[3] He launched Squarespace publicly in January 2004,[3][4] initially funded by $30,000 from his father, a small grant from the university, and 300 beta testers who paid a discounted rate.[3][5][6][7] At that time, Casalena was the company’s sole developer and employee, and worked out of his dorm room.[3][6]

By the time Casalena graduated in 2007, Squarespace was making annual revenues of $1 million.[4] He moved to New York City, began hiring, and had 30 employees by 2010.[4][7] That year, Squarespace received $38.5 million in its first round of venture capital funding, enabling it to hire more staff, continue to develop its software,[8] and double its marketing budget.[2] From 2009 to 2012, it grew an average of 266% in yearly revenue.[9] In April 2014, it received another $40 million in funding.[10] By 2015, it had reached $100 million in revenue and 550 employees.[4]

Squarespace has purchased Super Bowl advertising spots in 2014,[2] 2015,[11] 2016,[12] 2017[13] and 2018.[14] Its 2017 ad won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.[13] In 2017, it signed a sponsorship deal with the New York Knicks to add the Squarespace logo to their uniforms.[15]

After the Unite the Right rally in 2017, Squarespace received a petition with 58,000 signatures and removed a group of websites for violating its terms of service against “bigotry or hatred” towards demographic groups.[16][17] In 2017, it raised an additional $200 million in funding, boosting its value to $1.7 billion.[18] This funding was earmarked for reacquiring interests from investors.[18]

In 2018, Squarespace partnered with the Madison Square Garden Company to launch the “Make It Awards”, which award $30,000 to entrepreneurs (4 winners, totaling $120,000).[19]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Leadership[edit]

Squarespace is managed by CEO and Founder Anthony Casalena. Other key executives are:[20]

  • Nicole Anasenes, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer
  • Andrew Bartholomew, Senior Vice President, Strategy
  • John Colton, Senior Vice President, Engineering
  • Raphael Fontes, Vice President, Customer Operations
  • Natalie Gibralter, Vice President of Product, Consumer Products
  • Mary Good, Chief People Officer
  • David Lee, Chief Creative Officer
  • Kinjil Mathur, Chief Marketing Officer

Product / business model[edit]

As of 2016, Squarespace hosts more than one million websites.[4] Its users employ pre-built website templates, and a variety of drag and drop widgets to add elements such as text and images.[8] Its developers also create custom templates that are sold to users.[8] On-screen instructions walk users through things like search engine optimization and setting up e-commerce.[4]

Squarespace was initially built for creating and hosting blogs.[5] E-commerce features, such as an integration with Stripe for accepting credit card payments, were added in 2013.[21] In 2014, more commerce features were added; a mobile version of the service was released; a separate facility was added for developers writing custom templates and features;[22] and a logo-creation app was introduced in partnership with icon designer Noun Project.[23]

In 2011, Squarespace was upgraded to version 6, with new templates, a grid-based user interface, and other enhancements.[8] Version 7, which went live in 2014, replaced its coding backend with a drag and drop interface,[24][25] and 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;[26] and added an analytics dashboard[27] and PayPal integration.[28]

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