In 2013, we added Strikingly, a no-code free website builder to our portfolio that aimed to let users build mobile friendly websites without any coding or designing skills. It was founded in 2012 by Chinese co-founders, David Haisha Chen (Chief Executive Officer), Dafeng Guo (Chief Technology Officer) and Teng Bao (Chief Product Officer) and graduated from W13 batch of Y Combinator.
Strikingly has recently raised $6M in Series A funding from Sinovation Ventures, Kevin Hale (Partner, Y Combinator), Infinity Ventures Japan, CAS Holding Group and TEEC Angel Fund (now known as TSVC).
Co-founder and CEO David Chen says Strikingly’s new funding will be spent on user acquisition and adding more features to its platform.
Now Strikingly wants to market more aggressively and take advantage of growth opportunities in emerging markets in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. The company has already doubled its employee headcount since the beginning of the year to 150. Many of Strikingly’s new hires were made for its product development team. While about half of Strikingly’s customers use it to launch personal websites, a lot of its users are freelancers and design agencies who create sites for clients, so the company also recently started a reseller program.
“I think it’s quite a healthy business all around, but we’ve been trying to boil down our company culture and core offerings, so we are ready to actually grow,” says Chen.
Part of Strikingly’s Series A will be used to add more features to its mobile editor, which will help it attract more customers in mobile-first markets like Southeast Asia. Chen says the app was designed to be a standalone editor, instead of a complement to its desktop editor. This means that users can manage their account, create sites and publish them using only their smartphones.
“We’d heard suggestions for a mobile editor, but we didn’t do it before because we thought building a website is so much easier on a PC,” says Chen. “But one thing we didn’t realize is that a lot of people just don’t have PCs. They said ‘we only use Strikingly on a phone.’”
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