CloudCannon Raises $500K To Make Designing Static Websites Simpler

CloudCannon, a simple CMS for web designers and their clients aimed at offering simple visual editing without the need for an advanced technical skillset, is today launching globally from TechCrunch Disrupt: London’s Startup Alley. The company is also announcing $500,000 in new funding, and a partnership with domain name registry Rightside.

The additional capital comes from New Zealand investors Sam Morgan, Phil McCaw, Stephen Tindall, Simon Holdsworth and others, and arrives at a time when the company is seeing 18% month-over-month growth (as of January 2014). Today, CloudCannon tells TechCrunch, the company has grown its user base to over 1,110 cities across 120+ countries, though it declined to provide hard user numbers.

We first came across CloudCannon when the startup had rolled out its Dropbox integration, which lets you put your webdesign files into a Dropbox folder and then wait for CloudCannon to do the rest. (The service also supports uploads via FTP and drag-and-drop, but the support for Dropbox was definitely a cool trick).

CloudCannon’s websites are designed using standard HTML, CSS and Javascript, and allow designers to continue to use their favorite tools, like Dreamweaver, MailChimp, jekyll and Wufoo, if they choose, in addition to the service’s own WYSIWYG editor.

CloudCannon, meanwhile, handles the technical details and the website hosting, so designers and clients can quickly collaborate on their sites’ changes together. The company, which competes with platforms like WordPress and Squarespace, also specifically focuses on the challenges associated around updating static websites which would otherwise see designers having to give up creative freedom if they were to use a typical website builder product.

With the new partnership with domain name provider Rightside, the company is now looking to streamline the technical process involved with choosing a domain name and managing the DNS settings. Rightside also offers a number of new Top Level Domains, like .social, .rocks, .ninja, .dance, .reviews, .lawyer and more which may appeal to CloudCannon’s customer base of those designing for small-to-medium sized businesses.

The company’s current pricing plans now include a free tier for prototyping then $9 – $49 per month for hosted sites. CloudCannon’s pricing page indicates they’ve taken some of the early feedback to heart and will soon offer plans to allow designers to publish sites to other storage providers, and integrate with Google Analytics.

The four-person team behind CloudCannon, which launched out of Wellington-based Lightning Lab’s accelerator this year and is now based in San Francisco, will use the additional capital to hire more developers, and focus on partnership growth going forward.