20VC: Squarespace Founder, Anthony Casalena on Scaling Squarespace from Dorm Room To Public Company with over $700M in ARR, The Decision to Direct List over Traditional IPO or SPAC & What Changes When You Go Public?
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Anthony Casalena is the Founder & CEO @ Squarespace, the company that allows you to create a website, sell anything and market your business. To date, Anthony has raised over $948M for the company from the likes of General Atlantic, Index Ventures, Tiger Global; culminating in their IPO in May 2021. Despite the incredible size and scale of Squarespace today, Anthony started the company from his dorm room in 2003 and bootstrapped the business for many years to today with over 1,100 employees around the world.
In Today’s Episode with Anthony Casalena You Will Learn:
1.) How Anthony came to start Squarespace from a dorm room and turn it into a public company with over 1,200 employees globally?
2.) Why did Anthony decide to bootstrap with Squarespace for over 6 years when the company was scaling fast and profitable? How was Anthony's mindset impacted by the efficiency of bootstrap scaling? How did Anthony's mindset change when Squarespace raised their first large round? How does Anthony advise founders today on raising venture vs bootstrapping?
3.) Why did Anthony decide to do the direct listing over the more traditional IPO or a SPAC? How does Anthony advise other founders contemplating the same exit choices? How does Anthony personally describe this chapter of the company? Does he enjoy being a public company CEO? What are the best elements? What are the worst?
4.) E-Commerce has been a massive driver for growth for Squarespace, how does Anthony feel about the future of e-commerce on Squarespace? Only 1% of Squarespace's $700M ARR comes from enterprise, does enterprise hold a meaningful position in the future of the company? What are the core challenges of moving into enterprise? How does the company need to change?
5.) With the growth of the company, how has Anthony changed his style of leadership? What are his biggest strengths? What are his biggest weaknesses? What are the most obvious breakpoints in the scaling of companies?
Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Anthony Casalena
Anthony’s Favourite Book: Thinking Fast and Slow