Squarespace, the New York company whose software helps businesses build websites, has hired a chief financial officer with public company experience in its latest step towards an anticipated stock market listing.
“We continue to take all the steps needed if we want to [go public] in the future,” Anthony Casalena, its founder and chief executive, told the Financial Times.
He added, however, that Squarespace had not yet filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to prepare for an initial public offering, chosen a bank to advise it or decided whether a direct listing would be preferable to a traditional IPO.
Marcela Martin, now chief financial officer of the online travel group Booking Holdings, would bring the experience that Squarespace needed as “a late-stage private company”, Mr Casalena said.
Experience of public companies was one of the prerequisites in its CFO search, which was conducted online. “For the first time in 17 years, I’ve hired two people without meeting them,” Mr Casalena said, referring to Ms Martin and Paul Gubbay, who joined as chief product officer in July.
The coronavirus pandemic has boosted Squarespace and its peers, raising expectations that a market listing would value the company well above the $1.7bn level at which General Atlantic Partners bought $200m of stock in 2017.
Shares in Shopify have risen 168 per cent this year to value the Canadian ecommerce company at $132bn. Wix, another competitor, is up 129 per cent this year and valued at $16bn. BigCommerce, an ecommerce platform for retailers, has