Go Daddy Group Inc., parent of domain registrar GoDaddy.com, has sold to private equity firms for $2.25 billion, the company said. The company sold to KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures.
GoDaddy is looking to exceed $1.1 billion in revenue this year. The company is known for its excellent company service. If you ever bought a domain name from GoDaddy, you likely got a call not long after from one of its service people. The company, based in Scottsdale, AZ, was founded by CEO Bob Parsons in 1997.
Some folks in the tech community have expressed concerns that the private equity buyers of the company will milk it for all its worth without regard to its tradition of selling domain names inexpensively with great service. We’ll see.
Zynga, Farmville-maker files for $1 billion IPO
San Francisco-based Zynga, the game maker that created Farmville and Mafia Wars, two of the most popular Facebook games, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of stock to raise at least $1 billion.
For a detailed infographic on Zynga’s path from founding to IPO see: Zynga infographic at Namesake.com.
Zynga, founded four years ago, has users in 166 countries. About 230 million people play its games every month. The company has revenue of $597 million in 2010, up from $121 million in 2009. The profitable company earned $90.6 million in 2010.
It is the latest of the much ballyhooed Internet companies to seek public status following LinkedIn (Linkd) Corp. Analysts expect even greater interest in Zynga’s IPO and the amount of money it decides to raise may change as the level of that interest is better evaluated.
The company was founded by CEO Mark Pincus and has about 2,300 employees. The company’s shares recently sold for $15 each on secondary markets, which would value the firm at $12.6 billion.
The filing with the SEC reveals the company is investing in its own data centers to supplement its use of the Amazon cloud service, which allowed the company to grow fast without building infrastructure. Most Facebook game companies rely on Amazon’s cloud. VentureBeat says Zynga’s ability to design apps that take advantage of Amazon’s cloud is one reason for its success.
Despite the inevitable suggestions that the moonbeam valuations of Internet companies may signal another Internet bubble, many analysts point out that the difference is in the fact the today the Internet is more fully integrated into our public, personal and professional lives. These companies have substantial revenues, enormous numbers of users, and some, such as Zynga are even profitable.
Some analysts note, though, that their market values may still be quite overvalued.
BLiNQ names John Tawadros president, COO
BLiNQ Media, a global technology innovator in Facebook advertising and the only pure-play media and technology company worldwide with official access to the Facebook Ads API, has hired former COO for top search-marketing firm iProspect John Tawadros as president and COO.
Prior to joining BLiNQ Media, Tawadros was the COO of iProspect. Over the course of ten years he helped build the company from a basement startup to the #1 search marketing firm in the world, acquired for $50MM in 2004.
While at iProspect, he built and ran a world-class client services team with a 90%+ client retention rate, a companywide training program and scalable business processes to drive efficiencies, communications, ROI and overall performance.
The client-facing, algorithmic and paid search, technology, training and innovation teams all reported to Tawadros. He also played a significant role in the integration of iProspect with Aegis and in the acquisition and integration of a Texas-based retail industry search firm.
“Social media is the new search,” said Tawadros. “Facebook, the biggest player in digital media, is now the home of innovation, and BLiNQ Media helps advertisers make the most of it. It’s an honor to join this creative, intelligent and hard-working team.”