Webydo has created a sophisticated B2B cloud software that enables professional designers, graphic and web design agencies to create and manage responsive websites for their clients without writing code. The platform, which is led by a community of 122K designers, created by Webydo has removed the time consuming and expensive coding component, liberating design companies of all sizes that find themselves focusing their efforts on technical matters rather than on the creative aspect of web building.
KITE Invest: The idea to create Webydo came about because as web designers it was a tool that was needed and it didn’t exist. Please shed light on the process of creating an original product – both good and bad.
Shmulik Grizim: My cofounder, Tzvika Steinmetz, and I were leading a big web agency and felt frustrated by the fact that 70% of our website creation budget was going towards the repetitive development of handwritten code. In order to create websites for our clients, our graphic and web designers were dependent on developers to convert their static graphic design into code, manually. This old professional process, which hasn’t changed much since the 90s, is slow and expensive and marginalizes designers. We’ve hired the best mathematicians and engineers in order to develop a code generator that will automatically convert graphic design into code in professional work environment with pixel-perfect accuracy. Initially, we developed this powerful technology for our own internal use but we quickly realized the revolutionary and disruptive impact of this cloud platform on the whole web design industry.
Using Webydo’s full B2B SaaS solution, 38 million designers worldwide can now create, manage and host innovative websites for their clients, independently, in a process that is ten times faster and cheaper than hiring a developer or writing code.
KITE: In addition to creating Webydo there is also the process of establishing the company’s brand and image. In this sense, with the number of startups growing each year, please describe what the process has been like to differentiate from other great ideas.
SG:Webydo’s disruptive technology helped us in differentiating our solution.
In the past, the booming web design service market (+$20B industry in the US alone) had only two major segments of solution for website creation:
I. B2C code free solutions for amateurs (such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly). Wix had a successful IPO with a company valuation of $1B; however, amateurs using these template-based do-it-yourself B2C platforms create less than 3% of websites.
II. B2B solutions for developers (such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal), by which the vast majority of websites are created. However these solutions depend on manual coding; designers create the custom graphic designs and developers manually convert their designs into code. This expensive and complex process marginalizes graphic & web designers, costing them 70% of their website creation budget.
Webydo is disrupting this developer controlled market, leading a new segment with a full B2B solution for designers, providing 38 million designers full control over the whole process of website creation, completely code free. With Webydo, designers can independently create a website from scratch, working in browser in a professional work environment familiar to them from software such as Adobe Photoshop, immediately bringing any web design to life.
The booming web design market is craving for Webydo’s full B2B solution for designers, so the differentiation is clear and the opportunity is huge. Webydo is leading this new segment of solutions for designers with the goal of replicating the WordPress model of dominance in the developers market.
KITE: As the company has matured, what have been some of the defining moments in the evolution of where Webydo finds itself today? For instance, have your customers played a part in Webydo’s development?
SG: We started with a small team and a tremendous mission to find a solution to a problem that big companies, like Adobe, have yet to solve. Following a strategic partnership with Google (in which 14,000 websites rapidly created) and getting selected by TechCrunch and Microsoft as the most innovative startup, we’ve launched our community led cloud platform for designers. Webydo’s devoted community of designers is setting up the roadmap for development of Webydo’s cloud software, suggesting features and voting which features should be developed first. We believe this radically democratic process has helped us develop the most ideal work environment for designers and it is one of the reasons that we have become one of the fastest growing designer communities in the world. More than 120,000 designers, design studios and web agencies have already joined Webydo and thousands of new designers are joining us every week with 300% growth.
KITE: In two-year’s time Webydo has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, and the BBC, and most recently Forbes named Webydo “as one of the five startups that are reshaping the web economy.” How would you evaluate the role of communications for businesses and especially startups?
SG:We were very fortunate to get a warm welcoming by the industry and the media since we launched Webydo in May 2013. More than 6,000 bloggers wrote about us and we appeared on the home pages of all the major industry magazines. This exposure is very helpful in informing your audience about your new solution, but even more than that it is a great indication for how much is your solution really needed. The organic spread of the word about Webydo was like announcing water to a thirsty desert and it was part of the reason Webydo has experienced 300% growth in the last two quarters alone. However, we believe that the product itself is the most important element in the communication with your users and most of our designers join us following a recommendation from a friend.
KITE: In terms of funding, Webydo has been fortunate in just two years to have already received Round A and Round B funding. Webydo is not your first venture as an entrepreneur; therefore, what lessons have you learned in terms of approaching investors?
SG: Webydo is my third venture and I have learned that there are two crucial elements in establishing a long lasting relationship with your investors and building big companies’ trust and a shared vision in creating superb products and make the world better. As an entrepreneur, you must have an intimate knowledge of your market and the ability to confront reality as it is. I personally believe in the grassroot movement model, where you design a powerful technology/service in an agile process with constant feedback from your users and grow organically from the bottom up, which ensures a good fit between your solution and the market and enables the growth of a strong community of users.
KITE: Is Webydo currently seeking funding? If so, what are the methods being used to find investor(s)? Do you find the investment aspect to be challenging or not?
SG: We’ve raised so far $8.8M from VCs such as OurCrowd, Magana Ventures and from private investors from the US and the UK. We’re currently in the midst of another investment round.
We’re always looking for a shared vision and potential synergy with our investors and we had the good fortune in meeting kindred spirits so far. The website creation market is booming and 2015 will be the critical year in determining market leadership. Following our rapid growth in users and revenues, our goal is to become the largest designer community in the world and empower our designers to conquer the market.
Finalizing this round of investment will enhance our fast pace growth and will be critical in turning Webydo into the standard solution for designers. So this is the perfect timing for investors who are interested in this market, to join us.