Strikingly 5 Years Later: $6 Million Series A

Strikingly is a website builder platform that launched in 2012, co-founded by Haisha Cheng and Dafeng Guo. Now, these guys take ‘mobile first' to a whole other level.

What made it stand out among the other website builders is that it was the first platform to build mobile-ready websites, as the company claims. That may be one of the reasons why this company became profitable within the second month after its launch. Profitable enough, that is, to cover for the founders' living expenses and provide support their staff's organic growth.

Strikingly later turned to Y Combinator, a US seed accelerator, in the winter of 2013. The world's most powerful business incubator (as Fast Company refers to YC), along with other investors, has helped this start-up raise $1.5 million by the end of April 2013.

With the growing use of smartphones, many other competitor companies emerged. Platforms like WiX, Weebly, Squarespace, and many others, all provide building your own fully-responsive website, with no coding skills whatsoever.

It seems though that Strikingly handles its competition on its feet. The company claims a retention rate of 90% and that 96% of those users would recommend Strikingly to a friend. While half of the company's customers have built a personal website, many others include design agencies and freelancers who build websites for their own clients. For that sake, Strikingly has just recently released a reseller program that provides co-branded website solutions.

The company's main distinguisher is starting off with a simple landing page and then expanding the site with features like eCommerce, blog, and much more. That seems to work with start-ups, entrepreneurs and professional creatives, as many of them have now grown into sizeable companies, and now need more features.

Strikingly's goal is to grow with its users, and that itself is the motif behind raising its Series A. Strikingly not only doubled the number of its employees to 150 during this year, but it has also closed a $6 million round by the end of last month. Investors include the Chinese Academy of Sciences Holdings, Infinity Venture Partner, Innovation Works, TEEC Angel Fund, and former Y Combinator partner, Kevin Hale.

The company launched an app in July this year, and part of their Series A will be used to enrich the features of this mobile editor. Why an app? Let's face it; mobile really does come first. There are people out there who don't even own a PC. The app is not a complement to the desktop platform. It is a standalone editor where users can manage their accounts, create and publish websites using their smartphone only.

All this surely puts Strikingly a step ahead of its competition and a step closer to achieving its marketing goals. Many of those include grasping the growth opportunities in markets like Africa, Latin America, as well as Southeast Asia, where customers seem to be big fans of the mobile-first approach.

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