Squarespace goes public but Anthony Casalena is still focused on his customers

Published on
May 19th, 2021
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Anthony Casalena founded Squarespace in his dorm in 2003 and bootstrapped until 2007. Today the company went public. Here’s a timeline of Squarespace's growth as it crosses another milestone.
Though Squarespace stock closed at $43.65 its first day, below its reference price of $50 per share, the event is still momentous in the company’s growth journey.

The Squarespace IPO comes at a time when D2C and the creator economy are booming. New products that compete with Squarespace’s offering are launched regularly to allow entrepreneurs to build websites, offer subscriptions, monetize their skills, and start a business.

When asked about his competition in an interview this morning with CNBC, maker Anthony Casalena said that he considers Squarespace to be multi-modal commerce and “somewhere in the middle” between companies likes Shopify and Wix. He explained that it's his customers he's focused on though, not the competition.

Nonetheless, Squarespace has been a leader in the website builder space — and then the all-in-one solution space — for many years. Here are some of the key milestones on its path to becoming a publicly traded company.

2003 - A year before Facebook was founded and Gmail was launched, Casalena starts writing the code for Squarespace in his dorm room because he “just wanted a hosted blog with photo galleries and statistics,” writes Venture Beat.

2004 - Casalena launches Squarespace with $20,000 from his dad — "enough money to get a few servers." For the first three years, he is essentially the only full-time employee. He wrote the code, managed customer support, and did the marketing (“if buying $100 worth of Google AdWords can be called 'marketing,'” he told Entrepreneur magazine). Casalena later told TechCrunch “Squarespace has been a profitable business since its first year of operation.”

2005 - Squarespace surpasses 10,000 trial accounts and 478 customers.

2007 - Casalena decides to turn Squarespace into a full-fledged business.

2009 - Squarespace for iOS is released.

2010 - After initially bootstrapping, Squarespace raises $38.5 million. It has grown to 30 employees and the company reports that its users and revenues have doubled every year for the last few years. TechCrunch writes, “In the crowded and fragmented space of web publishing, Squarespace will never be the cheapest, even on the enterprise end, but it’s a valuable tool for customers who want a balance of affordability and strong attention to design.”

2011- Squarespace for Android is released.

2012 - Squarespace surpasses 100 employees.

2013 - Squarespace Commerce launches.

2014 - Following Product Hunt’s launch in November 2013, Casalena launches Squarespace 7 on Product Hunt. Squarespace also runs its first Super Bowl ad and raises another $40M.

2015 - Squarespace surpasses $100 million in annual recurring revenue with 550 employees.

2016 - Squarespace launches Domains, Circles, and multiple currency subscriptions.

2017 - Squarespace wins an Emmy for its Super Bowl ad with John Malkovich and raises $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation. The company reports that revenues have increased 50 percent in the last year to about $300 million.

2021 - In March, Squarespace raises $300M at a $10B valuation. In May, it goes public via a direct listing on the NYSE. “A direct listing fit for us because Squarespace has been a profitable company for a number of years and we don’t need to raise money in this event,” Casalena told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday. “Our thinking was to pursue the direct listing, give people the option to buy if they want to buy, sell if they want to sell. What’s great about the direct listing is no one’s suffering unnecessary dilution today.”
Comments (2)
Florin Muresan
My teams make 17 SaaS. CEO, Squirrly
wow, it was really awesome to see this timeline for SquareSpace. as someone who competed with them in 2010 and 2011, it's really nice to see that they've made it, and weren't eaten by WordPress.
Lex Trukhin
🎯 Designer, human, ape
Public support is critical as long as the company is focused on customer experience.