GitHub Acquires Y Combinator Alum Easel, A Browser-Based Web Design Tool

GitHub has acquired Easel, a browser-based WYSIWYG web design tool that launched out of Y Combinator in 2012. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The team will join GitHub and the service will continue to work as usual. Easel will also continue to offer support, and users on paid plans will “continue to enjoy their current benefits.”

Easel was founded by Ben Ogle and Matt Colyer, who, according to our own Bryce Durbin, met while working as engineers at Adroll. The team believes that web design should happen in the browser because that’s also where users will see it.


Easel, among other things, allows its users to quickly import existing sites with the help of a bookmarklet and Chrome extension. Because everything happens in the browser, prototypes can be tested immediately. For teams, Easel offers collaborative editing, commenting and a number of other functions. The service also offers support for Bootstrap, which allows designers to quickly create responsive sites.

Paid plans on the site start at $15 per month for individuals and $50 for small teams.

GitHub, by default, is a pretty technical service that’s squarely aimed at developers. With Easel, the company acquires a more accessible tool that will broaden its reach beyond the traditional developer niche.

Today’s acquisition isn’t unprecedented for GitHub, by the way. The company also bought Odered List back in 2011 and with it, the company’s Speaker Deck product and Harmony, an online website building and content management tool. Both of these tools are still up and running, which bodes well for the future of Easel.

Here is the full announcement from Easel:

We started Easel because we weren’t satisfied with the workflow of designing for the web. We believe that iterating on design should be straightforward and free of repetitive work. We’re excited to be joining GitHub to continue to pursue that goal.

What does this means to you, our users? Easel continues to run as it has. We’ll continue to provide support and all of our paid plans will continue to enjoy their current benefits. We’re excited to begin this new chapter and hope you’ll love what we have in store.