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The website-making space is hot: Last week alone, Squarespace announced a new $40 million round, and WordPress parent company Automattic was reportedly raising up to $100 million, and just today, Brandcast grabbed $1.5 million from Salesforce founder and chief executive Marc Benioff.
Website-building service Weebly is joining the fray with its announcement that it has grabbed a new $35 million as its third round of institutional funding from Sequoia Capital and Tencent Holdings, Ltd. This funding round now puts the company’s valuation at $455 million — and gives it more options for growth.
Today, one in three people in the U.S. visits a website made with Weebly every month, and more than half of the its sites’ 175 million monthly unique visitors are outside of the U.S., according to the company. Naturally, Weebly plans to use the funds to expand into new markets around the world along with boosting its research and development efforts.
“We believe the future lies in entrepreneurship and empowering people to take their idea and deliver it to the world. 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,” said Weebly chief executive David Rusenko in an official statement.
Weebly first went international back in February 2010, when it launched its sites in French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese, as we reported. Back then, Rusenko told VentureBeat that the company got started in making its service available in new languages by “having the initial translation done by users, then having professional reviewers double-check those translations,” which helped it save money.
“The Internet is changing the future of business and entrepreneurship. Never before have people been so empowered to build global businesses with huge flexibility,” said Tencent USA chairman David Wallerstein in a statement.
“Weebly is driving this transition to a mobile-driven e-commerce world with a platform that is just so simple and intuitive to use. We are amazed how beautiful a mobile destination on Weebly looks after just a few minutes of work. E-commerce features integrate within a few clicks. Small businesses around the world should give Weebly a try to see how it can help them better reach their target markets.”
Weebly is currently available in 12 languages, and it has added a host of features in the past few years, including team editing, a content management system platform for designers (like WordPress and Drupal), and integration with e-commerce tools.
Weebly was founded in 2006 by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri. The company was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2007 batch, and its other current investors include Ron Conway, Baseline Ventures, and Floodgate.
The development of Tencent and its products and services has profoundly influenced the way millions of Internet users communicate with one another socially and will continue to do so in the future. Since Tencent was founded in November... read more »
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