||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (October 2010)|
|Traded as||NASDAQ: WWWW|
|Headquarters||12808 Gran Bay Parkway, West, Jacksonville, Florida, United States|
|Key people||David L. Brown, Chairman, President, and CEO|
|Products||Websites, Website design, Website hosting, Internet marketing, Lead generation, and eCommerce|
|Revenue||$106.5 million USD (2009)|
|Operating income||$93 thousand USD (2009)(GAAP)|
Web.com Group, Inc. is a provider of Web services catering to small and medium-sized businesses. As of June 2011, Web.com had more than 1,000,000 subscribers.
Company history and acquisitions
Website Pros was founded in 1999 by Darin Brannan with a goal of becoming the largest nationwide website design and related value-add services company to the small and mid-sized market in a subscription model (SaaS). The idea was to provide these services at 1/10 the cost and time of that offered by thousands of small web design shops dominating the cottage industry. It went public in 2005.
The company was initially funded with $65 million from Norwest Venture Partners, Crosspoint Ventures, Chase, Verizon (Bell Atlantic), Office Depot, and Dell; and subsequently by Insight Venture Partners just prior to its IPO. The company used a portion of this initial money to acquire both the SaaS sitebuilder platform company (first in the market), Virtual Publisher Inc., and the servicing infrastructure company (technical call center), Atlantic Teleservices Inc. (founded and CEO’d by David Brown). The Company recruited a professional management team and board (senior officers from Office Depot, Kmart and Intel among others) to begin executing on the operational and sales plan.
As the market (pre-bubble) was flush with cash, it could afford both a direct sales (through two Kinko’s-like sales offices) and indirect channel sales strategy. When the market downturn hit in 2000, the company quickly shut down the direct sales model and focused exclusively on the less expensive indirect channel strategy, consolidated operations in Florida (where the call center was acquired), and let go of the expensive senior management team in favor of a leaner operation to survive the post .com bubble era.
David Brown was asked to return to the Company to provide the additional leadership as CEO and pursue the vision with the new leaner operations. The company was successful in landing enterprise channel partners and in focusing on the fundamentals of building this pioneering business model. The acquisitive backgrounds of the founders and CEO led to several acquisitions along the way, including: NetObjects, Innuity, Leads.com, Renovation Experts, Submit-a-Website, eBoz, and 1ShoppingCart. In 2007, Website Pros acquired Web.com and the combined company changed their name to Web.com Group in 2008.
Web.com was originally started as Micron Electronics and sold computers mostly to government entities. Under the leadership of CEO Joel Kocher, Micron shuttered the PC business and entered the web hosting business through a series of acquisitions. After its largest acquisition, MicronPC changed its name to Interland in 2000. While the company grew to be the largest hosting company in the world, its growth stalled after the company stopped making acquisitions. Kocher was replaced by a turn-around team led by Jeffrey Stibel in 2005. Stibel changed the name from Interland to Web.com . and quickly turned the company around and delivered record organic revenue growth and led the company to its largest subscriber count in the company’s history until it merged with Website Pros in 2007.
At the time of the merger with Website Pros, the company's stock closed at $7.15, which represented more than a threefold increase since new management joined in August 2005.
Web.com Group sold NetObjects Fusion in early 2009 and acquired Solid Cactus in late 2009 from Scott Sanfilippo and Joe Palko. The company purchased Register.com for $135 million in 2010 and Network Solutions in August 2011, pending regulatory approval, for $405 million.
In 2012, Web.com took over the naming rights to what was then the Nationwide Tour, the second highest professional men's golf tour in the United States.
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