Yola signs ‘potentially massive’ deal with HP

Yola, the South African-based company that provides tools allowing anyone to build a simple website, has signed “a potentially massive” partnership deal with global computer manufacturer HP that could significantly expand its reach.

The deal will see a Yola icon installed on the desktop of every HP computer sold in the future. And that’s quite a few computers: According to Silicon Valley tech blog TechCrunch, HP sells two computers per second, or more than 60-million computers every year.

Vinny Lingham, CEO and founder of Yola, explains: “There will be an icon on the desktop and other parts of the PC, which when clicked will lead to a customised end-user experience.” Essentially, Yola will be the simple, go-to solution for HP customers looking to build a website.

Yola is aimed at those who need to build a website but don’t have programming skills, have limited knowledge of HTML and graphic design. With the site’s simple “drag-and-drop system”, users can incorporate widgets, integrate e-commerce and blog software, while the company also acts as a domain registrar.

The company, with offices in Cape Town and San Francisco, offers two services: “free” and “Yola Silver”. According to Wikipedia, “The free accounts have a website limit of five sites, a download capacity of 1024 megabytes, and basic web builder tools. The Silver version requires subscribers to pay an annual rate of $49.95. Yola Silver has many additional features, including an expanded storage capacity of 25GB, a domain name with privacy guard ,additional themes,Yahoo ad credits and more web builder tools.”

Lingham was thrilled at the partnership with HP, calling it “potentially massive” and speculating the “global exposure will be incredible for us”.

Yola has been gearing up for some time now, in anticipation of the deal.

“We have just hired a large number of people to go through the process of internationalisation and scaling up customer support (including telephone support) that these deals, amongst many others that are in the pipeline, will bring,” said Lingham.

Lingham said its service will soon be available with seven payment currencies and in six additional languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and German.

The company’s target market is small business, and it’s a big market. TechCrunch reckons that Yola’s market is a hard one to reach but a “surprisingly juicy one”.

“Believe it or not, nearly half of small businesses still don’t have a web site. At some point that will change; the big question is how long it takes. Small businesses are notoriously late technology adopters.”

The HP deal is welcome news for Yola. After going rather quiet for the last year and suffering a major denial-of-service attack on its system which brought down most of its sites, it looks like this may be the start of a big year for the company.

Yola is backed by the Swiss-based Reinet Fund to the tune of about $25-million.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.