ImpressPages, a Lithuanian startup behind an open source, drag and drop, widget-based web content management system aimed at broadening access to web development by simplifying the tools required to create and maintain a website, has raised a €200,000 seed round from VC firm Practica Capital. The startup confirmed the round is its first external investment.
It said the investment will be used for “company development financing” — to grow the number of users of its product (it says it currently has more than 42,000 registered users, with a target market of freelance web designers and web agencies) — and to improve the product itself, with “a significant expansion” of system functions in the pipeline. Specifically, ImpressPages said it will be adding the ability for its users to create websites suitable for multiple platforms, both PC and mobile devices.
The investment will also fund development of an online store to be called ImpressPages Marketplace, where developers of ImpressPages plugins can sell their products. The store will be integrated with ImpressPages’ interface so its existing users will be able to see additional tools available for expanding the functionality of their website, it said. The Marketplace is ImpressPages’ monetisation strategy, taking a revenue share of any sales.
“We will allow developers to decide for themselves how much they want to share with us. It will be in a Google AdWords manner (bidding for the position). The more you share the more your extensions will be promoted and sold,” the company explains.
The startup has garnered attention for its CMS before, including winning a ‘most promising project’ award in an Open Source Awards back in 2011. It said the current pool of ImpressPages users are based in markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, India, Japan, Russia, France and the Netherlands. The system has been translated into 32 languages.
How does ImpressPages intend to set itself apart from more widely used rival tools like WordPress? By focusing on usability and simplifying the web design process. It describes drag and drop and in-place editing as its “killer features to attract users.”
“This allows users without technical knowledge to manage websites up to 4 times faster compared to market leaders as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Moreover, the result is much cleaner, nicer and in high quality. You see exactly every piece of the content how your users will see them before publishing (no need to go back and forth to check it as lots of people do in WordPress),” the startup says.