Venture

Squarespace Buys Unfold To Bring Digital Storytelling Into Its Mix

Squarespace, a build-your-own website startup, has acquired social media app Unfold, used by a slew of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Selena Gomez, to bring digital storytelling capabilities to its users. The terms of the deal, the startup’s second acquisition to date, were not disclosed.

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In a social media context, stories are photos or videos that a user can post for a set amount of time. Unfold helps users create marketable, high quality stories with templates, and has been adopted by brands like TopShop, Under Armour, and Tommy Hilfiger.

According to New York-based Squarespace, Unfold has 9 million monthly users and over 670 million stories have been created using the app. As part of the deal, Alfonso Cobo and Andy McCune, the co-founders of Unfold, will join Squarespace.

In a blog post announcing the deal, the startup said that customers can use Unfold starting today. For premium templates and features, you can become a member for $19.99 a year.

Digital Noise

Squarespace knows it’s in a noisy space, with Wix, WordPress, GoDaddy, Shopify, and others all enabling the average person to create a seamless website in minutes. WordPress publisher Automattic announced in September that it raised $300 million Series D at a $3 billion valuation, and a month prior to that, the publisher acquired Tumblr, a social media blogging website.

However with competition, Squarespace says the recent acquisition “is the first of its kind for the company and for the industry.”

“Social media is a place where many creators get started before launching a website,” said Anthony Casalena, Squarespace founder and CEO, in a press release. “As a first in our category, we’re excited to provide our customers with a way to stand out no matter how they are getting started.”

Also notable, Squarespace was founded in 2003. This deal signals a growing trend for the company with its push on mobile and social. In April, the website builder acquired Acuity Scheduling to bring an online appointment manager to customers.

Squarespace, which has raised $278.5 million in venture-backed funding to date, is projecting $500 million in subscription bookings for 2019.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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