Go Daddy, go! Go Daddy provides individuals and businesses with Internet services such as domain name registration and website hosting, along with services and software for functions that include e-mail, e-commerce, podcasting, and website creation. Touting discounted pricing on domain names and hosting services, it has become the largest global domain registrar accredited by ICANN (the regulatory body for the public Internet), with some 53 million domain names under management. It targets niche markets such as private domains and reseller programs through affiliates Domains By Proxy and Wild West Domains. In 2011 KKR and Silver Lake became partners in Go Daddy; founder Bob Parsons remains its majority shareholder.
KKR and Silver Lake were part of a consortium of private equity investors, which also included Technology Crossover Ventures, that made a $2.25 billion investment in Go Daddy through a partnership agreement late in 2011. (Both Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures specialize in technology investments.) Go Daddy plans to use the financial backing to acquire other companies, boost its portfolio of products and services (especially in the high-profit data storage arena), and expand its presence internationally.
Strategically, Go Daddy is looking to become a one-stop shop for small and midsized businesses by providing an Internet presence, hosted infrastructure services, and cloud-based applications. In 2012 Go Daddy added one more piece to the puzzle with the acquisition Outright, a provider of cloud-based financial management software for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The software automates many accounting tasks commonly used by small businesses; its Web and mobile application imports data from e-commerce sites including eBay, PayPal, Amazon.com, and Etsy. The purchase builds on Go Daddy's newest cloud-based service offering, Go Daddy Cloud Servers. Cloud servers enable small businesses to set up and manage private cloud server networks with the ability to scale and rent online software as their business grows.
In addition to its core Web services, Go Daddy is a leading host for the digital SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates that enable encrypted transmission of sensitive data such as credit card numbers and other personal information over the Web. The company sells and hosts the certificates for website owners to ensure that confidential information sent or received via a website is not intercepted by unauthorized viewers. Go Daddy has further expanded its range of services with the introduction of online incorporation services for businesses wanting to register as a corporation or limited liability company.
Go Daddy has also continued to grow internationally. In 2012 the company announced it would be expanding into India, hiring Rajiv Sodhi (a former Microsoft India executive, with expertise in both SMB and cloud computing) as managing director of Go Daddy India. The company has been offering domain names using the country's extension, .IN, since 2009. It predicts that India will become its largest international call center before the end of 2012.
Earlier, Go Daddy added data centers in the Netherlands (in 2009) and in Singapore (in 2010) to accommodate growth in its customer base in Europe and Asia. The company prefers to operate its own data centers so it can control factors such as uptime, security, and speed. It also looks to ensure quality customer support by hiring -- rather than outsourcing or offshoring -- support personnel. In the US, the company operates from facilities in the states of Arizona, Colorado, and Iowa, and in Washington, DC.
The company has experienced rapid growth in its short history in part due to high-profile advertising campaigns that have included controversial Super Bowl commercials and Go Daddy Girls. Two of its most famous Go Daddy Girls are Indy race car driver and sometime swimsuit model Danica Patrick and fitness guru Jillian Michaels.
Go Daddy's sales reached more than $1 billion in 2011, after posting increases of 25% in 2010, and 22% in 2009. The company has continued to invest in its workforce and has expanded its offices in order to accommodate growth in number of employees and number of customers, which has surpassed 10 million.
Chairman Bob Parsons founded the company in 1997. – less