Firsts things first. To all our wonderful customers, don't worry, we're not going anywhere! The Moonfruit you know and love will continue to be run by the Moonfruit team you know and love, but as part of a bigger group. Our product roadmap delivery will continue, and may even accelerate as Yell recognises the exciting things going on here and want to support and invest in that growth. And, as the team that founded Moonfruit, we'll be sticking around too and we are all really excited about what's to come both within Moonfruit and within Yell.
We founded Moonfruit in 1999 as a place to “share your passions” online. We wanted to democratise publishing on the web for small businesses and individuals. The last 12 years have flown by. Those of you who have followed our story know that like many small businesses before us, the path from startup to growth business has not always been a straight-forward one. The one thing we are sure of is this: it's our customers and community that have made us who we are and helped us grow rapidly in the past few years.
So far nearly 5 million websites and 230,000 shops have been built using Moonfruit. Over 500k people are currently using Moonfruit: 60% in the UK, 33% in the US and 7% in the Rest of the World. Millions more browse, transact and link to Moonfruit sites, together with our 18k twitter followers and 10k Facebook fans, the team here is proud to be part of the Moonfruit community.
We have been looking at the best way to accelerate providing our services to a bigger global SMB (Small Medium Business) audience and were heartened at the number of big SMB players in the US who became very interested in partnering with us. In fact so interested that they proposed "getting married" or I really should say, acquired (for those of you who have organised and negotiated around a wedding it's a similarly harrowing and joyful experience!)
So after discussion with several attractive and not so attractive suitors I'm very excited to announce we accepted a "proposal" from Yell Group and are excited to announce our marriage! Yell is a leading provider of digital services within the emerging local eMarketplace for consumers and SMBs across its operations in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America. Yell has 1.3m small business customers and earned £2bn in revenue in 2011, supported by 13,000 employees around the world and, most importantly for us, is an entrepreneurial corporate with the commitment to being a true global digital service provider which will better serve SMBs. Together we can provide better tools and services to help customers build and grow their businesses on web, mobile and social platforms.
Yell has made it very clear they are not just buying Moonfruit for its products and customers but for the Moonfruit team itself. There is a commitment to keep the team at Moonfruit together to continue innovating current and new digital products. Moonfruit will continue to run as a sub-brand of Yell.
We're committed to carry on providing an open and transparent service to our customers and to continue innovating with their input and support. With Yell’s resources and support behind us we will be able to provide additional services to help grow our customer businesses.
We love providing people with simple, design-led tools which allow anyone to create a great looking and effective website or shop. We've continued to listen to our customers and innovate our products. Our latest "light" ShopBuilder makes it super simple for small businesses to design, curate and publish an online shop simultaneously on the web, mobile and Facebook. And we're making our final steps to migrating fully to HTML 5. All our sites will render in HTML 5 on the iPad (for one) later in 2012, building on our mobile sites and Facebook shops which are already published in HTML 5.
We look forward to continuing our journey with you and helping your businesses flourish.
Wendy-Tan-White CEO and Co-Founder
PS. Here's what TechCrunch had to say about the Yell acquisition of Moonfruit