Squarespace Might Have Been Acquired Or Is Shutting Down

Over on Twitter, Bradley Chambers posted a tweet along with a screenshot of an email response from one of the Squarespace customer representative he had contacted regarding a problem:

Squarespace's representative got back to a customer with a cryptic message which might signal that their new iOS app is coming, they've been bought/acquired or they're shutting down.

The cryptic message of the email, in particular, is the portion where the representative wrote “there are internal happenings we we as customer care are not a liberty to share with our customers as this time.” First of all, the numerous spelling/word repetition errors seem odd and off for an established company with a customer care support they’re so proud of that they tout it in almost every ad they circulate as far as I can remember. But the obvious elephant in the room is the fact that they’re signaling one of the three things that might be happening:

  1. They might have a new, reworked and revamped iOS app that’s just about to be released. This case, to me, seems to be the believable. Their iOS apps are ancient by today’s iOS 7 app standards and it’s something that they have willfully neglected for a few years now (with the exception of bug fixes… and yet it’s still buggy when I used it a couple weeks back), while still promising paying customers that they have something in the works all along. If this is the reason for the cryptic message posted above, I wouldn’t be surprised.
  2. They got acquired. This seems to be the second most likely possibility. They’re a team of exceptionally talented engineers (190 of them total, according to the company’s official website) and any media company would be glad to have them. I haven’t heard anything at all about this but recently, when MediaTemple (which owns Virb, a service that does almost exactly what Squarespace offers) got acquired by GoDaddy, they (Virb) decided to buy their way out of the acquisition to become an independent company. If GoDaddy is looking for a blogging platform that replaces what Virb would have provided to the them if they hadn’t bought their way out, Squarespace seems to be the most perfect candidate.
  3. They’re shutting down. This seems to be the most unlikely, while still possible case. Here’s why I don’t think they’re shutting down: Squarespace is a very attractive service – the last time they raised a round led by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, they got $38.5 million. That’s a lot of money for a first round. Anthony Casalena, the founder of Squarespace, is probably smart enough to know that such an attractive service would probably be acquired instantly if they ever put themselves up for sale, thus diminishing the possibility that they’ll have to shut themselves down. Plus, they probably still do have quite a bit left from that investment round on top of what they get from subscriptions (which isn’t the cheapest in the industry: $8/month is their cheapest plan – and they don’t have a free plan).

Of course, there’s always a possibility that the entire thing is nothing more than a trivial matter that has been blown up because of how cryptic the message sounded. I have contacted Squarespace for a comment and will update this piece if and when they respond (one of the representatives who didn’t immediately confirm or rejected what I have written have forwarded my message to the marketing department). Meanwhile, I’d advise those on Squarespace to download a .xml version of their site as a backup – better safe than sorry, after all.

UPDATE:

A Squarespace staff member who runs operations at the company reached out to me, saying that “it was a bad support response”, and that “it happens.” Which means that nothing is happening over at Squarespace! For those of you who were disappointed by the anti-climatic ending, sorry! For those who are currently hosting their websites on Squarespace, take a deep breath.