Weeblies aren't wobbling
There is nothing wobbly about Weebly.
The young San Francisco start-up, which came up with drag-and-drop technology that allows even the most technically challenged to build their own websites, has now made it easy to add Google AdSense to those sites.
AdSense for Dummies? "You could call it that," said David Rusenko who, with Dan Veltri and Chris Fanini, started Weebly as a college project at Penn State in January 2006 to help their classmates.
The trio of 23-year-olds also is padding pro accounts for the more ambitious, offering such new features as password-protected pages and the ability to remove or customize the Weebly information box, known as a footer, at the bottom of each page.
Weebly has signed up more than 600,000 users and hosts websites that collectively get more than 15 million views a month. This year it added a fourth teammate: Greg Dingle, who is working on a stealth online advertising project that Weebly plans to launch in the next few months. Now the company is looking to hire two more employees and is about to move into its first office space rather than continuing to operate out of two apartments on two different floors in a San Francisco high-rise.
Yet the Weeblies are not looking to raise any more money.
The bootstrapping company moved to Silicon Valley in January 2007 when it made the cut for a three-month stint with investment firm Y Combinator, which provides small amounts of seed funding and loads of seasoned advice to promising start-ups. Its technology soon impressed investors with serious Silicon Valley cred. The following April, Weebly raised $650,000 from Ron Conway, Aydin Senkut, Mike Maples and Rajeev Motwani.
Now that Weebly is nearing profitability, we are impressed with the maturity of these young entrepreneurs. They now have more control over their companies and destinies than some start-ups that, after selling out for flashy dreams and millions in venture capital, become mere blips in Silicon Valley's rear view mirror.
"We’re trying to keep it cheap," Rusenko said.
These Weeblies don’t seem in danger of falling down anytime soon. But Rusenko at least has been known to get down. Hard to believe he has any time to spare for his other gig as a DJ.
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: From left, Greg Dingle, Chris Fanini, Dan Veltri and David Rusenko. Credit: Courtesy of Weebly