Website builder Squarespace to go public on NYSE

Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena.

Square space

Squarespace, which makes software that allows people to build websites, Friday filed to be made public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SQSP”.

The company eschews a traditional initial public offering, in which it would issue new shares to institutional investors to raise new capital, and instead uses a direct listing, where it sells existing shares in the public market to allow former investors and employees to obtain liquidity. This mechanism has become increasingly popular, with tech companies Slack, Spotify, Palantir, Roblox, and Coinbase all choosing direct listings in recent years. Last month, Squarespace raised $ 300 million in funding.

The company reported 2020 revenue of $ 621.1 million, up 28% year on year. Squarespace wants to grow its business by signing up new customers and getting existing customers to make more use of its services, including online product sales tools.

Squarespace had over 3.6 million subscriptions at the end of the year, up about 23%.

Rather than going after big businesses, Squarespace focuses on freelancers and small businesses. New York-based cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean is also focusing on smaller entities for growth.

Competition includes Automattic, Wix, and Weebly, as well as domain registration companies like GoDaddy and e-commerce companies like Shopify and BigCommerce.

Squarespace was founded in 2003 and is based in New York City, with 1,256 employees at the end of 2020.

Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO of Squarespace, will control the majority of Squarespace’s voting rights. Squarespace sells Class A shares of its shares, each of which gets one vote, and Casalena owns the vast majority of the company’s Class B shares, which get 10 votes each.

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