Home > Companies > Kansas City-born Divshot closes $1.1m seed round, lays roots in LA

Kansas City-born Divshot closes $1.1m seed round, lays roots in LA

Divshot co-founders Jake Johnson (left) and Michael Bleigh pose at Launchpad LA in September.

Divshot, a team that came together at Startup Weekend Kansas City last April,* isn’t slowing down. After building a prototype in its first 48 hours of existence, three months later it went on to win a Los Angeles pitch competition in July. The next month, it entered San Monica startup accelerator Launchpad LA. Today, less than a month after graduating from the accelerator, it announced it closed a $1.1 million seed round.

“Divshot’s team has accomplished an incredible amount in a short time. With a compelling vision for the future of web development, I’m very excited to be involved,” Jim Andelman of Rincon Venture Partners, the lead investor in the round, said today in a press release.

In addition to the Santa Monica-based venture capital firm, the startup’s first round of funding includes investment from 500 Startups, Daher Capital, Floodlight Ventures, Cooley LLP, Drummond Road Capital and Eric Hammond. No Kansas City investors participated in the round—the sole Midwest investor is Cleveland, Ohio-based Drummond.

The new capital will be primarily used to grow the team, co-founder and CEO Michael Bleigh said today in an email.

Boasting more than 40,000 users, Divshot is an interface builder for web apps that allows users to drag and drop components onto a canvas and export what co-founder Jake Johnson calls the cleanest HTML and CSS users have ever seen.

“Divshot has the potential to be as ubiquitous for web development as Adobe’s Creative Suite is for visual design,” Bleigh said in the press release.

Currently in public beta, Divshot plans to launch as a paid service later this year.

The company has also now permanently moved to California, Bleigh said today in an email. Currently, it’s just the two co-founders working out of a downtown Los Angeles loft, but an engineer will join the team next month.

As to whether or not this latest development means their hometown won’t see the duo anymore, Bleigh, who referred to Divshot as a Silicon Prairie expat company, said both he and Johnson have family in Kansas City so they’ll always have ties to the area. “I’m sure we’ll also make our way back for hackathons and conferences from time to time, spreading the word about Divshot,” Bleigh said.

When asked to reflect on going from a Startup Weekend project to a notable accelerator graduate to a funded startup in less than a year, Bleigh focused on his personal journey.

“Transitioning from developer to founder has been intense, but very rewarding,” he said. “I’m learning a ton every day and I’ve been fortunate to have great partners in Launchpad LA and our investors who have a wealth of operational experience to share.”

Turning his focus back to the company, he indicated the milestones over the past 11 months are just the start.

“Fundraising is a beginning, not an end. It’s exciting to have the resources to truly build our vision for Divshot,” Bleigh said.

For more on Divshot, including coverage of its past funding sources of Intredia and Launchpad, see our stories:

For an overview of Divshot’s offering, check out the startup’s promotional video below.


*Update – When published the article stated Divshot received second place at Startup Weekend Kansas City. The team did not place. The acticle has been updated to correct the error.

Credits: Photo courtesy of Divshot. Video from Divshot on YouTube.

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