Bubble and Webflow are popular as low-code and no-code tools for building websites while WIX and Squarespace are thought better for creating simple pages. In Japan, we have recently seen that the developer of AI-powered website building assistant for engineers Front-End.Ai secured about $1 million US last week while landing page builder startup Peraichi announced in September that its 49% stake has been acquired by Japanese online printing and on-demand logistics startup Raksul (TSE:4384).
And now, a new startup has emerged from Japan that aims to make it easier to build websites using the graphics tools we use every day such as Google Slides and PowerPoint (no mention of whether or not Keynote will be supported in the future, which is curious for me as a Macintosh user).
Tokyo-based startup Yagocoro unveiled its latest product called Slideflow on Product Hunt on Saturday, which allows users to build websites using presentation slides from Google Slides and PowerPoint. The company is developing English and Japanese versions of the service in parallel, and expects to launch it in January next year.
Yagocoro was launched in 2018 by Shinnosuke Ito and Masahiro Kawasaki, the founders of Laughtech (previously known as BitGather), who launched Japanese ‘viral mills’ CuRAZY back in 2014. Laughtech was acquired by Japanese PR agency Vector (TSE:6058) in 2016, and CuRAZY continues to be operated by Smart Media which was merged the three web media operating companies acquired by Vector, including Laughtech. Subsequently, Ito and his team launched an offshore software development business in Vietnam, which triggered them to think about creating a service that can be used globally, and they started developing Slideflow.
Disclosure: Bridge is run by PR Times (TSE:3922), a subsidiary of Vector (TSE:6058).
It is easy to forget when we are immersed in the IT industry that there are still many people who feel that even WIX is difficult to use. Even business professionals working at globally-renowned consulting firms, who usually create business presentations with PowerPoint every day, come to me for an advice on how to build websites with WIX. I think there should be no big difference in the UX skill needed for both presentation slides and websites.
Given the fact that even WIX is still difficult for some people to use and it has no much variety in design templates (about only 600), Ito came up with an idea leveraging PowerPoint slides to create a website because the Microsoft tool is used by 500 million people globally which can help lowering the learning cost. Thanks to more than 320 billion slides available on the Internet, this approach may help them curate template designers more easily.
PowerPoint can also export slides in HTML format, but this is not enough functionality to create a website. Slideflow categorizes images and text in the slides by layer, and arranges them using HTML and CSS, however, this is not enough to support responsiveness, links, and forms, so they made it possible by integrating open source tool Webiny for the code generation process.
Our target for the first year is to have 6,000 templates consisting of 10 pages each on average ready. We would like to differentiate our product from other tools like WIX in the number of templates while focusing on polishing user experience.
The platform’s detailed pricing structure has not yet been disclosed, but it appears to be based on a monthly subscription fee. Ito told us that their annual recurring revenue (ARR) after three years since the official launch is target around $10 million US. The company also plans to offer additional functions like website marketing, analytics, and e-commerce integration as well.
Yagocoro has secured a seed round of funding from B Dash Ventures, East Ventures, The SEED, and Advantage. Detailed financial terms have not been disclosed.