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Crain's New York

October 6, 2013 View Original Article

2013 Fast 50

No. 32 Squarespace

 Website: Squarespace.com
Twitter Handle: @Squarespace
CEO: Anthony Casalena
Headquarters: Manhattan
Three-year growth rate: 266%
2012 revenue: Declined to publish 
Profitable? Yes
Local Employees: 140 
Total Employees: 150

What it does: Provides tools and templates for bloggers and businesses to build websites and conduct e-commerce

How it grew: Squarespace, which hosts websites and provides tools and templates for building them, has more than 70 customer-care employees, nearly half its total workforce. The importance of listening to customers is one thing founder and CEO Anthony Casalena learned firsthand during the company's early years, when he did all the customer service himself. And it's one reason Squarespace is growing at 266%, the 32nd-fastest-growing company in New York City.

"I understood the importance of communicating with customers, of hand-holding somebody through the daunting experience of creating a website," said Mr. Casalena.

The Manhattan company pays equal attention to customer friendliness in its technology. Its sophisticated platform provides everything customers need to build and maintain a website, whether they are do-it-yourself bloggers or experienced developers building sites for clients.

"They've upped the ante in what means to have a great software solution and a great design aesthetic on top of that," said Andrew Braccia, a Squarespace board member and venture capitalist with Accel Partners, which in 2010 helped bankroll the company in a $38.5 million round.

When Squarespace launched the sixth version of its technology a year ago—making it more flexible and easier to use—it signed up more customers in 10 months than it had in its previous eight years. Six months ago, the company launched another feature that has turned out to be hugely popular, Squarespace Commerce, which allows customers to sell products and services and accept donations via their websites. Customers number in the hundreds of thousands, according to Mr. Casalena.

The next surge of growth, he said, could come from expanding the company's offerings in new and different industries.

"You can think about it in the lens of continuing to expand service offerings in verticals, such as [offerings] for musicians," said Mr. Casalena. "We're not finished with that mission." 

—Judith Messina