Armenia’s 10Web brings AI website-building to WordPress

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Generative AI has done impressive work in improving productivity in many areas, including website building. There’s no shortage of tools that now allow anyone to create a web design by simply telling them what they want in prompts, including established players Wix and bootstrapped startups like Relume. Armenia-based company 10Web is entering the race and believes it has an edge.

10Web allows users to quickly create websites built with WordPress, a widely used content management system that is notoriously difficult to use for beginners, using text prompts. Unlike Wix and Squarespace, WordPress is open-source, meaning many features don’t come out of the box and require more advanced web design skills; It also doesn’t come with hosting services, so users have to manage more backend tasks.

According to w3techs estimates, WordPress still powers about 40% of all websites on the Internet due to its customization options. Shopify came in second amid the direct-to-consumer ecommerce boom as sellers look to build their online stores with the Canadian company’s help rather than relying on Amazon.

To make WordPress more intuitive to use, 10Web’s Yerevan-based engineering team has integrated generative AI models like Llama2, GPT-4, and Stable Diffusion into its site-building platform. Such tools require a lot of development effort because “architecturally, it’s not easy to build a platform for WordPress,” said Arto Minassian, co-founder of 10Web, who also runs Crisp, a startup. Which removes background noise from audio using machine learning.

“You must have a very good hosting infrastructure. You must have a managed service to support WordPress security, backups, and uptime. All of these things are very, very difficult because every website is basically an instance,” he said. “In contrast, if you’re building on a closed source solution, let’s say Wix or Squarespace, you just build a backend. create, and then for each website, you just create a few pages.”

Minasyan is confident that focusing on solving WordPress’s usability will ultimately pay off due to the sheer size of its open-source community: two million developers. Founded in 2017, 10Web currently operates with positive cash flow. About 20,000 of its users are paying customers (some SMB customers may have several hundred websites, Minasyan said). In total, 1.5 million sites have been built with 10Web.

10Web has two ways to monetize – charging per website or on a traffic basis. There are plans to add a payment system, which will allow users to charge their customers and allow 10Web to take a cut of the fees in the form of commission fees.

Minasyan said the company is currently generating $5 million in annual recurring revenue and expects to reach $25 million in ARR by the end of next year. The founder attributed the company’s growth partly to its favorable location in Armenia. Like other former members of the Soviet Union, Armenia has abundant affordable engineering talent.

“We have AI talent that is probably four times cheaper in Armenia than in the US and here, we can access the best AI talent,” the founder suggested. “But if you’re a web builder based in California, you have to compete with Google, Amazon, and OpenAI, so it’s not easy to get the best talent.”

The budding tech hub in Armenia’s capital has given birth to the country’s first unicorn, PixArt, providing a playbook for fellow startups to follow. Given Armenia’s relatively small economy, its entrepreneurs have historically ventured abroad, specifically targeting the US as they seek to take advantage of domestic tech talent while hiring heads of marketing and business development in the US. They hire engineers in Armenia, a strategy also shared by 10Web’s 70-year-old company. Individual strong employee. And of course, having a footprint in the US could be beneficial for raising funds.

“99% of Armenian startups target the US market,” the founder said. “If you want to raise less than $1 million, you can raise from Armenian VCs, but if you want to raise a few million for seed or tens of millions for Series A, you have to go to the US”



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