The small team behind Universe, an iOS app that allows users to build modular, simplistic websites in a minute or two, has scored some new funding as it looks to grow its operation and its ambitions.
The startup has closed a $4 million Series A investment from Javelin Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Y Combinator, Box Group, Eniac Ventures, Paul Buchheit, Yuri Sagalov, Louis Beryl and others. Universe has raised $7.2 million to date.
The startup’s focus on building mobile websites has aimed to bypass the more complicated approaches of desktop-first web design companies for a process that feels a bit more like editing an Instagram photo. More than 160 thousand sites have been built with the app.
We covered the Brooklyn-based company when it launched last year and when it graduated from Y Combinator with seed funding. The team is still just three full-time employees; with this latest funding the team is looking to grow a bit.
“Javelin got excited about Universe because we saw a massive group of content creators that aren’t sitting at a desk or taking the time and cost to develop a website with the traditional tools,” Noah Doyle, Javelin’s managing director said in a statement. “We loved how Universe’s grid-based interface gives anyone the power to design a high-quality web presence, and see it as transformative for artists, free agent professionals, small business owners and individual personal use, too.”
Universe has spent the last few months rethinking how it’s approaching monetization with power users of the service. The company is switching from an à la carte approach that let users use a custom URL or ditch Universe branding on their site for an extra $3 a pop to a Pro tier that’s a flat $10 per month and will gain new functionality over time.
Universe is iOS-only for now; you can check it out here.