Qwilr is a tool for anyone who has sent out a PowerPoint deck they spent hours creating, only to wonder if anyone is even going to bother downloading it. The platform makes it easy to turn business documents into webpages, which in turn gives users access to analytics and other helpful tools.
The Sydney-based startup has landed AUD $500,000 (about $395,000) in seed funding from investors, including Sydney Seed Fund and Macdoch Ventures.
Co-founder Mark Tanner says Qwilr sits in the space between Google Docs and Squarespace. Google Docs are easy to create and share, but difficult to customize. Squarespace lets non-developers create attractive websites, but is too much work if you need to create the same type of documents, like pitch decks, over and over again.
“Our biggest users have over a thousand documents in their accounts and you wouldn’t go into Squarespace each time you do a pitch or presentation. You wouldn’t just make up a whole new website, but that is what Qwilr is for,” says Tanner, who was formerly a strategic partner development manager at Google.
Tanner and co-founder Dylan Baskind were inspired to create Qwilr by the frustrations Baskind dealt with as a freelance developer and designer. To stand out from big agencies with entire departments dedicated to creating presentations, Baskind built a website template from scratch for his pitches and proposals. They helped him land big jobs, and Baskind decided to make the process accessible for people without web development tools.
Like other enterprise startups, Qwilr faces the challenge of convincing businesses to switch over from tools they are accustomed to, even if those tools are cumbersome and annoying, like PowerPoint. In order to acquire users, Tanner says Qwilr focused on packing features into its free version. Qwilr’s templates let you upload text and photos and integrate Google Maps, videos, and various cloud services. It also has a handy tool for inserting price quotes.
Now the startup plans to use its seed funding to build its premium version by adding deeper analytics and features that allow clients to interact with documents, including e-signatures and buy buttons.
“We’re slowly but surely bringing more features of the web and putting them into hands of non-technical people who run businesses,” says Tanner.