What Go Daddy's Purchase of Outright Means for Small Sellers
By Ina Steiner
Go Daddy has acquired Outright, an accounting solution for online sellers and small businesses. Go Daddy, which also focuses on small businesses, is known for its easy and inexpensive domain registration service (it manages over 53 million domain names) and for its annual Super Bowl ads.
GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman said when the two companies interacted, it was a "meeting of the minds." Both companies are hyperfocused on improving the small business experience, he said, and, "we found ourselves finishing each other's sentences." Adelman said Outright will retain is name - "we like the name," he said.
Outright doesn't have the same name recognition among Internet users as Go Daddy, but it has been carving out a niche among small online sellers by helping them automate their bookkeeping and tax record-keeping. Where GoDaddy has 10.4 million customers, Outright has 200,000 customers. Its service integrates with online marketplaces and financial services to make it easier for small sellers to collect revenue and expense data.
Outright automatically imports data from eBay, Etsy and Amazon, as well as invoicing web sites Freshbooks and Harvest and the receipts site, Shoeboxed. Sellers can also link their bank and credit card accounts to Outright.
Outright CEO Steven Aldrich said the sale of the company to GoDady provides it with an opportunity to touch even more small businesses - "We couldn't be happier to be a part of GoDaddy," he said.
Funding Search Turns to Sale
Outright is backed by three venture capital firms (the same ones that funded personal finance company Mint, Aldrich said). As he was out raising the next round of funding, there was some interest in acquiring the company, and GoDaddy was one of the interested parties. Aldrich said the acquisition was a good fit with a very large opportunity for both companies.
He could not disclose the terms of the sale but said, "Investors and employees were delighted, as was Go Daddy - everyone came out ahead."
Create Compelling Services for Small Businesses
Aldrich said GoDady has Search Engine Marketing and email marketing tools, "the word just hasn't gotten out." The company will be "building, buying and partnering" to create a compelling set of services for small businesses, a market that is still under-served, he said.
Aldrich's title will change from Outright CEO to Go Daddy Senior Vice President of Applications. He'll be working with the leadership teams from both companies and has yet to determine which pieces of Go Daddy's current services will fall under the purview of "applications."
Aldrich and co-founder Ben Curren are joining Go Daddy and will remain in Outright's California offices. Adelman said Go Daddy would look to expand in Silicon Valley, but did not elaborate.
Acquisition Part of GoDaddy's Expansion Plans
In late 2011, Go Daddy received an investment from KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures. Adelman took over from founder Bob Parsons, and the company embarked on an international expansion, including into India.
Adelman said Go Daddy's domain registration business is a gateway - the first product on the road to creating a small business presence, followed by web hosting, security and ultimately, back office, CRM and other services it offers to small business customers. The company talks to a million customers on the phone on a monthly basis, he said.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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