Lorem raises $1.1M to connect small businesses and web developers for quick assistance

Fundings and Exits

When small and medium businesses want to build a website, they can take advantage of easy-to-use web tools like Squarespace — but who do they turn to when they need more technical help?

New York City startup Lorem Technologies is trying to make this process easier. After all, CEO Sam Wilcoxon (pictured above with his co-founder Charlie Fogarty) told me that not only do many business owners lack the technical knowledge to build, customize or fix their sites — they also don’t have the time or the know-how to find and manage freelancers to help.

With Lorem, on the other hand, they can just press an “instant help” button and, within a minute, the startup will match them with a freelance developer or designer who’s suited for the job. The business owner can talk with them via chat or voice, get a quote and provide temporary access to their website using the Lorem plug-in (which is currently available for WordPress and Squarespace).

Wilcoxon said Lorem (the name comes from “lorem ipsum” filler text) is focused on small, quick jobs — they can range from $5 to $500, but most of them cost less than $100. Some of the most common tasks involve fixing broken parts of a website, customizing the site with CSS and JavaScript and building integrations with services like Google Analytics and MailChimp.

The goal is to turn Lorem into the resource that businesses turn to whenever they need development or design help. And the startup seems to have made a good start with its current customers — Wilcoxon said 42 percent of them come back with a second job.

Fogarty added that Lorem vets all of its freelancers, because it’s important that the business owner knows that they’re going to be paired with someone “trustworthy, a true expert.”

“You get this magical experience, where you have a trusted partner,” he said.

And from the freelancer’s perspective, they can just go about their normal workday without having to chase down the work — they’ll get alerted by their browser when Lorem has a job for them.

Lorem recently graduated from the Techstars Boston accelerator. Its seed funding was led by Flybridge, with participation from Founder Collective and angel investors, including Constant Contact founder Randy Parker and Frederick Townes, creator of the W3 Total Cache plug-in for WordPress.

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