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Squarespace Goes Private in $7 Billion Private-Equity Deal with Permira

What This Bold Move Means for Users and the Tech Industry

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If you thought the tech world couldn’t get more exciting, think again. Squarespace, the go-to website-building platform, is making headlines with its decision to go private in a colossal $7 billion deal with private-equity firm Permira.


This move means Squarespace will no longer be a publicly traded company, giving it the freedom to innovate without Wall Street's watchful eye.


Let's dive into what this means for the platform, its users, and the broader tech landscape.

 

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What’s Happening?

Squarespace has inked a deal with Permira, a private equity powerhouse, to go private. Permira agreed to pay $44 per share in cash, which is a roughly 30% premium to Squarespace's unaffected share price.


This premium is quite a cherry on top, considering that Squarespace struggled to win over public investors. The company opened below its $50 reference price during its 2021 IPO and never traded above its $48 opening price again.


Going private offers Squarespace a respite from the public market’s relentless scrutiny. It’s like switching from a high-stakes poker game to a friendly round of Monopoly. They can now focus on long-term goals without the quarterly performance pressures.






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Why Should You Care?

If you’re a Squarespace user, this could be good news. With fewer public pressures, Squarespace might channel its energy into developing new features, improving customer support, and enhancing overall user experience. However, there’s also a chance they could tweak their pricing strategy.


Tech analyst Jason Warren sums it up nicely: "Squarespace going private could lead to more agile and innovative product development, tailored directly to user needs rather than investor expectations."

By the Numbers


To give you a clearer picture, here are some key figures:

  1. Global Reach: Squarespace powers over 2 million websites worldwide.

  2. Revenue Growth: In 2023, Squarespace reported a 17% increase in annual revenue, reaching around $754 million.

  3. User Base: From bloggers to large e-commerce sites, their user base is as diverse as it gets.


The Bigger Picture

This move isn’t an isolated incident. Other tech giants have also chosen to go private to regain control. Take Dell, for example. They went private in 2013 with a $24.4 billion deal, allowing them to restructure and later re-emerge stronger.

For Squarespace, going private might mean a renewed focus on their core products.


This could translate to better templates, more powerful tools, and perhaps even a few nostalgic features—like a snazzy visitor counter from the early 2000s. Hey, we can hope, right?


Real-World Implications: A Case Study

Consider GoDaddy, a similar website-building and hosting platform. When GoDaddy went public in 2015, they had to juggle innovation with investor expectations. This balancing act slowed down their growth somewhat. Squarespace’s decision to go private could be seen as a strategic move to avoid this pitfall and focus more on user satisfaction.


What’s Next for Squarespace?

With a hefty $7 billion backing from Permira, the possibilities are vast. We might see:

  • Global Expansion: Tapping into new markets.

  • Enhanced Innovation: Developing new, groundbreaking features.

  • Improved Customer Focus: Elevating user experience and support.


Anthony Casalena, Squarespace’s founder and CEO, said, "This move allows us to focus on our vision without the noise of the public markets. We're excited about the future and what we can achieve."

Squarespace’s decision to go private in this $7 billion deal with Permira is a game-changer. Whether you’re a Squarespace user or just a tech enthusiast, it’s worth watching how this unfolds. For now, keep building those stunning websites and stay tuned for what comes next.

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