Equalize Digital Raises Pre-Seed Funding for Expanding Accessibility Checker Plugin Development – WP Tavern

Equalize Digital, a WordPress accessibility merchandise and consulting firm, has received an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from Emilia Capital, the funding firm owned by Joost de Valk and Marieke van de Rakt. The funding can be used to speed up the expansion of Equalize Digital’s Accessibility Checker plugin, a device for auditing web sites for WCAG, ADA, and Part 508 accessibility errors.

Emilia Capital now owns a part of the corporate, though its homeowners weren’t given seats on the board. Equalize Digital founder and CEO Amber Hinds mentioned they are going to be serving as advisors and taking part in a task in strategic planning, particularly round advertising and marketing and plugin growth.

The Accessibility Checker plugin at present has roughly 2,000 lively installs, in keeping with WordPress.org stats, and the industrial upgrades make up a small proportion of Equalize Digital’s present income.

“We constructed the preliminary MVP in 2020 with an SBA mortgage and since then the plugin has been bootstrapped by income from the service facet of our enterprise,” Hinds mentioned. “My accomplice Steve and I’ve been splitting our time between consumer work and dealing on the plugin.

“We determined to deliver on an investor as a result of our final objective is for the product to make up a good portion of our income. It’s difficult to quickly develop a product that isn’t but self-sustaining, therefore in search of buyers. The funds will enable us to have full-time crew members constructing new options, and in addition additional spend money on advertising and marketing, training, and gross sales than was doable whereas we have been bootstrapping.”

Hinds mentioned the options her crew is concentrating on are aimed toward making the plugin a extra aggressive accessibility auditing device in comparison with different current SaaS options.

“Our focus proper now’s making our studies simpler to know by much less technical customers,” Hinds mentioned. “The following main launch with be a characteristic that enables individuals to click on a button and spotlight components on the entrance finish of the web site, which can make it simpler to search out the factor flagging the problem with out having to interpret a code snippet.

“Different options that we’ve on the street map embrace scanning and reporting on archive pages for posts and taxonomies, improved scanning of non-English websites, and the power for accessibility testers to log points discovered throughout handbook accessibility audits.”

Hinds mentioned she was inspired by the findings within the latest Admin Bar survey of WordPress professionals, which confirmed that 76.9% report they’re striving for greatest practices in relation to web site accessibility, a big improve from the earlier 12 months. With the brand new funding, Equalize Digital will have the ability to do extra advertising and marketing to extend consciousness and adoption of its instruments.

“Finally I want to see accessibility being thought-about throughout web site builds in the identical manner that search engine optimisation is, and we’re hoping that our plugin will central to that,” Hinds mentioned. “It’s why the free model of our plugin is way more full-featured than related plugins. Different accessibility instruments are prohibitively costly for small companies and bloggers. We’re aiming to construct a device that makes accessibility testing obtainable to everybody.”

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