In part II of Chris Dixon’s interview with Baseline Ventures founder, Steve Anderson, Anderson discusses two of his more successful investments: Heroku and Weebly. Weebly is a startup he led an investment in back in 2007 that helps consumers make websites. Most recently, Weebly launched a professional service to help designers create pages for clients.
Weebly may not be a household name just yet, but it’s getting there. Anderson tells Dixon last year “10% of all websites created on the internet were created on Weebly.” Additionally Weebly has purchased new office space and received a large $45 million round from Sequoia Capital (Anderson notes previous investments totaled $760,00).
So what drew Anderson to invest in Weebly, especially in 2007 when he says social was the trendy space? In a nutshell he tells Dixon it was the founders’ passion for their product and the belief that “they were creating something of value.” Adding, “if you are creating something of value and you have some technology backing … the chance of having a success at some level are really really high.”
Speaking of success, in the video below, Anderson tells Dixon why he put money into another startup, Heroku, a Y Combinator company that helps developers manage applications and was acquired by Salesforce for $212 million.
Anderson was introduced to Heroku in late 2007 and says he participated in Heroku’s seed round in 2008, because he liked “the idea of developer productivity and increasing that.”
He adds that after helping build the company for two years and erasing “some of the features” (similar to Instagram) Heroku had a roughly $100-million acquisition offer on the table. It wasn’t enough. Anderson says “there was no peer to them at the time and so I became very convinced that we shouldn’t sell.”
The end result? Gold. Anderson tells Dixon Heroku “decided to keep going and ironically, nearly 180-days later they sold for about $180-million more” to Salesforce.
Past episodes of Founder Stories, featuring discussions with Kevin Systrom, Fred Wilson and David Karp are here.
Episode III of this interview is coming up.