Universe, an Instagram for building mobile websites, nabs funding from'YC


As social media sites grow more massive and all-encompassing, one'startup is looking to bring back the friendly customization of Myspace to a new generation of users looking to define their online presence in a unique way.

Universe is a mobile-based website builder for the social media era, eschewing complicated templates for easily customizable website 'filters? that pin trendy designs to a grid pattern where users can drag and drop photos, videos, icons to build up a mobile-optimized website in minutes on the company's iOS app.

'People use Universe because they want to build a website on their phone and they want full control over how that site looks,? founder Joseph Cohen told TechCrunch. 'In many ways are trying to pick up the baton from Tumblr.'

The team launched with $3.2 million in funding last year from Box Group,'General Catalyst, Greylock Partners and Eniac Ventures. We profiled the startup then, now they're about to emerge from Y Combinator's latest startup class with some new funding and an increasing feature set for users.

When the service first launched it was a single-page home for quick information and links that you could build in just a minute or two. The site has maintained the quick onboarding site creation,'but last month, the mobile-focused app began tackling multi-page sites that could stack pages'together with a simple CMS that users could blog directly onto their sites with.

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