SQSPThe New York Stock Exchange welcomes Squarespace, Inc. (NYSE: SQSP), on May 19, 2021, in celebration of its Direct Listing.NYSE
By 2010, Anthony Casalena was seven years into bootstrapping his start-up Squarespace, which he’d grown from a dorm room project at the University of Maryland into a business with $10 million in revenue.
That’s when Getty Images approached him to see if he wanted to sell.
Casalena considered the offer long and hard, but he didn’t want to give up control. Instead, he opted to stay independent and bring in outside investors for the first time, allowing him to accelerate hiring and product development and also sell some of his stock.
He didn’t know it at the time, but in raising a $38.5 million financing round, Casalena was making a billion-dollar decision for himself and a highly lucrative one for venture firms Index Ventures and Accel Partners.
Squarespace, which sells tools for easy website creation and publishing, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday with a market value of $6.6 billion. Casalena, the company’s biggest stakeholder, owns shares worth $2.4 billion, while Index and Accel control holdings valued at $944 million and $750 million, respectively.
Because Squarespace went public through a direct