$12m secured by UK firm launching 3,000 websites per day
London-based website and online tech company UENI has raised $12m from high net worth investors and entrepreneurs.
The company was founded by husband and wife team Christine Telyan and Anh Pham Vu after the couple struggled to find a dentist online.
The pair set out to tackle a lack of online visibility for small businesses, and began UENI to provide free website and Google My Business listings to SMES.
Since launching its ‘freemium’ model in August 2018, which makes revenue through paid services such as a custom domain name, professional email address and enhanced SEO, it has attracted over 350,000 users.
The firm’s product offering is now growing to include eCommerce and curated third-party services, such as business bank accounts, insurance, and payment processing.
The latest funding round involved 36 private investors, with 95 percent of the money coming from 10 backers.
Among the named investors are Michael Hartweg, co-founder of Leonteq Securities AG, a Financial Services and Fintech company listed on the Swiss Exchange and entrepreneur Thierry Manni, former chairman of Novares Group (Mecaplast Group) and founder of Stajvelo, a high end electric bicycle producer in Monaco.
“This is a massive endorsement from our angel investors. Our existing investors have been impressed by our growth and are backing us to do more,” says CEO Telyan.
“Our growth has been more like a consumer app rather than a service for businesses and entrepreneurs,” she continued.
“We expect to have 600,000 users by the close of 2019 and two million by the end of 2020.”
UENI claimed that it is currently signing up over 3,000 businesses every day, with substantial demand in markets such as Mexico, India and Brazil.
“The US is also a very exciting market with over 500 businesses joining every day.”
“We know our customers aren’t techies or designers, they just want something that works. So we’ve created something super simple for them which ensures they complete the journey and actually setup a website.”
UENI currently operates in the United States, Canada, UK, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and India. The majority of its 60-plus staff are based at its headquarters in Hammersmith, London. UENI also has offices in Prague, Czech Republic as well as Dnipro and Kiev in Ukraine.
“Our mission is to make all of the world’s small businesses visible online,” says Telyan. “Our investors see the market potential and so this investment is a major validation of what we’ve done so far.”