Web.com

Web.com Group Inc.
Formerly called
Website Pros Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQWEB
Predecessor Atlantic Teleservices
Founded 1999; 18 years ago (1999)
Headquarters 12808 Gran Bay Parkway, West, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Key people
David Brown (CEO)
Products
Revenue $710.5 million (2016)
Number of employees
3,500 (2017)
Website web.com

Web.com Group Inc. is an American company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida that provides domain name registration and web development services. Established in 1999, the company was known as Website Pros Inc. until early 2008, after acquiring an Atlanta-based company called Web.com, which was founded in 1981 and formerly known as Interland, Inc.[1] Web.com has 3.3 million subscribers, as of 2016, and 3,500 employees throughout the United States and in Argentina, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as of 2017.

Corporate overview

Web.com is based in Jacksonville, Florida and provides domain name registration and web development services, among others.[2][3] The company caters to small and medium-size businesses and offers a variety of subscription services,[4][5] including design,[6] hosting, management, e-commerce, lead generation, mobile commerce, online advertising,[7][8] search engine optimization, and social media solutions.[9][10][11] Web.com reportedly had 3.3 million subscribers in January 2016.[12] The company has offices in more than 20 U.S. states, and in Argentina (Buenos Aires), Canada (Barrie, Ontario, and Nova Scotia), and the United Kingdom (including Cardiff, Wales).[13] Web.com is traded as "WEB" on NASDAQ.[14][15]

David Brown serves as Web.com's chief executive officer (CEO).[16][17] Okumus Fund Management is the company's top shareholder, with 18.64 percent as of March 2017. In 2015, Okumus and Web.com agreed to appoint two independent directors to its board.[2][18]

In May 2017, the company had 3,500 employees and a market capitalization of $1.1 billion.[2][8][19] Web.com has a $1.21 billion valuation, as of June 2017.[20]

History

Website Pros Inc.

David Brown established Website Pros Inc.'s predecessor, the technology services company Atlantic Teleservices, Inc.,[21][22] in Jacksonville in 1997.[12][23][24] Brown served as CEO until 1999, when he sold the company to Website Pros (NASDAQWSPI),[25] via the venture and growth equity investment firm Norwest Venture Partners.[24][26][27] Website Pros was founded in 1999 by Darin Brannan.[28][29] Brown joined the company's board of directors.[29]

The dot-com bubble's collapse caused Website Pros to suffer layoffs and other cuts,[30] and investors and executives to leave.[26] Brown returned to Jacksonville in 2000 to oversee an end to the company, which then had between 200 and 300 employees.[24][26] However, he convinced investors to let him run a leaner company with a new management team.[26][27][29] In October 2001, Website Pros employed 135 artists, copywriters, and designers in Jacksonville and San Francisco.[29] Clients included Dell, Office Depot, and Verizon.[26] The company planned to establish a chain of stores for people to access services to develop and maintain websites. The high costs associated with starting brick and mortar establishments caused Website Pros to return to a partnership model used by Atlantic Teleservices, and the company closed its San Francisco offices and consolidated operations in Jacksonville.[29] Brown then oversaw a series of acquisitions, averaging one per year for a decade. The largest of the acquired companies was NetObjects, a Redwood City, California-based software company best known for developing the web design tool NetObjects Fusion.[26] Website Pros purchased the company, including its GoBizGo and NetObjects Matrix assets,[31] in October 2001 for an undisclosed amount.[29]

Website Pros acquired the Spokane-based e-commerce services provider Innuity in 2002,[29] resulting in the merged company's change from an upfront fee structure to monthly subscriptions.[26] The company was growing by 40 percent annually by 2003,[26] and had 260 employees (around 150 in Jacksonville and 110 in Spokane) by the end of the year.[32] Website Pros received $17 million in venture capital, which included $10 million in December 2003 from Insight Venture Partners and $7 million Norwest in April 2004. The Jacksonville Business Journal reported that Website Pros had 40,000 clients, including Discover Business Services and IBM, at the time the company secured funding from Norwest.[32] Brown began preparing Website Pros for an initial public offering in 2004,[26] and the company went public in 2005.[4][33] Website Pros acquired eBoz and Leads.com, and reported $37.8 million in sales, in 2005.[28] In 2006, Julius Genachowski joined Web.com's board, along with Hugh M. Durden and G. Harry Durity.[34] Website Pros acquired the Canadian company 1ShoppingCart.com, which offers software e-commerce services, for $12.5 million,[33] as well as Renex, an online lead generation provider for contractors and homeowners, in late 2006.[35]

In 2007, Website Pros acquired the Atlanta-based company Web.com, which was founded in 1981 and formerly known as Interland, Inc.[36] Under the agreement, which was valued at $129 million, Website Pros paid $25 million in cash and the rest in stock.[37] Brown continued to serve as chairman and CEO of the merged company, and Jeff Stibel, who was serving as president and CEO of Web.com, became a president and board member of Website Pros.[38][39][40] The company remained headquartered in Jacksonville, and the merger resulted in a more than three-fold increase in the number of paid subscribers.[26]

Web.com Group Inc. (2008 – present)

Website Pros changed its name to Web.com Group Inc. in early 2008.[41] In June, the company began trading as "WWWW"[21] on NASDAQ; executives commemorated the change by closing the stock exchange at Times Square's NASDAQ MarketSite on June 9.[25] Stibel served as president until 2009.[41] Web.com had nearly one million subscribers and was earning $120 million in revenue by the end of 2010.[26]

In 2012, the company became the title sponsor of the Web.com Tour, a developmental professional golf tour for the U.S.-based PGA Tour, in a deal that extends through 2021.[4][22] In conjunction with the tour, Web.com hosts "summits", or designated spaces for people to meet company representatives and learn about its offerings; Web.com hosted 27 of these events in 2013.[4][22] Financial News & Daily Record reported that the company had 500 employees in Jacksonville, plus an additional 1,400 in satellite offices, in October 2012.[24] By 2014, Web.com had 2,000 employees in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Argentina.[22]

Web.com's customer service center in Drums, Pennsylvania opened in January 2016.[12][42] The company opened a digital customer service center in New Glasgow's Aberdeen Business Centre, in September 2016.[6][10][43] The office became Web.com's third call center in Nova Scotia; the company also has offices in Halifax and Yarmouth.[6][10][12] Web.com generated $710.5 million in revenue in 2016, an increase from $543.5 million in 2015.[2][19]

In March 2017, the International Customer Management Institute named Web.com a finalist in the "Best Large Contact Center" category at its annual Global Contact Center Awards, which recognize "companies and individuals that honor leadership, vision, innovation and strategic accomplishments within the customer service industry."[44] In May 2017, the company relocated 175 employees within Scottsdale, Arizona's SkySong development into the SkySong 4 building. Yodle, which was acquired by Web.com in 2016, had moved into SkySong in 2009. The new SkySong 4 office space will house administrative and sales operations.[8] The company was reportedly approached by private equity firms about a possible buyout in 2017.[2][3][45]

Acquisitions and partnerships

In recent years, Web.com has grown via acquisitions.[5] The company acquired Solid Cactus, a provider of e-commerce and other online solutions, in 2009.[46] Web.com acquired Register.com in 2010 for $135 million,[47] resulting in an 80 percent increase in revenue and a four-fold increase in the number of customers.[26] The company's offices in Drums were formerly occupied by Network Solutions, a domain registration company acquired by Web.com in 2011 for $405 million and 18 million stock shares.[12][48][49] The acquisition increased Web.com's customer base to 3 million people, the number of domains under its management in 9 million, and the number of employees to nearly 2,000.[23][48] Web.com executives rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite on February 28, 2012, to commemorate the company's acquisition of Network Solutions.[21] Web.com acquired SnapNames, an expired domain name service and marketplace,[50] and has a 50 percent partnership with Rightside in NameJet.[51][52] The company acquired Scoot.com, the largest online business directory network in the United Kingdom, in July 2014.[53] In 2016, Web.com purchased Rightside's domain name drop list registrar accreditations for $1.3 million,[51] and acquired the New York-based marketing services firm Yodle for more than $300 million.[5][8][14] The purchase marked Web.com's largest acquisition by volume to date, with 1,400 employees.[54] In December 2016, the company expanded into Latin America by agreeing to acquire the Argentina-based Donweb.com for $8 million.[5][55][56] The deal was completed in February 2017.[15]

Web.com has partnered with other companies to enhance its offerings to customers. In 2009, Web.com partnered with Chase Paymentech to provide payment processing services,[57] as well as First Data to offer e-commerce, online marketing, and payment processing solutions to businesses.[58][59] In 2014, MasterCard and Web.com partnered to feature the former's Simplify Commerce solution, which launched in 2013, as a preferred payment provider.[60] According to the National Federation of Independent Business, Sam's Club partnered with Web.com in 2015 to offer online marketing services to small business owners.[61] In February 2017, Domain Name Wire reported that Web.com gave away 375,000 .xyz domains to its customers, as part of an agreement with the top-level domain's registry, which received an advertising credit worth $3 million.[62]

References

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External links