GoDaddy.com, the leading domain registration service and producer of semi-pornographic Super Bowl commercials, is slated to be auctioned off, and could bring in over $1 billion, Wall Street Journal reports. Qatalyst Partners, the boutique firm run by veteran technology banker Frank Quattrone will be shopping the company to private equity firms, the WSJ says. Currently, GoDaddy.com manages approx 43 million domains.
Founded in 1997, GoDaddy Group Inc is currently owned by Bob Parson who is also Chief Executive Officer of the company. The company is well known for its edgy advertising, including Super Bowl commercials and ads featuring different “Go Daddy Girls,” including racing car driver Danica Patrick.
Besides Leading the Domain registration business, GoDaddy.com also sells security software, e-commerce tools, web hosting and e-marketing solution to companies and people who look to outsource their online presence work. In 2009, the company posted a revenue somewhere between $750 million – $800 million, as reported by WSJ. GoDaddy.com has a strong chain of resellers & customers who are the backbone of Godaddy.com online B2B model. Many big resellers from various countries are running their own domain registration business which is completely dependent on Godaddy.com services. However the possible sales of the company unlikely to attract any service disruption to all its resellers or customers in anyways. Earlier two other Domain registrar has been sold to private equity firms in the same manner. Due to the recent boom in Internet-based services & business, companies are looking forward to controlling the root of Internet Business. Two smaller competitors, Register.com and Network Solutions, have both been in private equity’s hands.
Technology-focused buyout firm Vector Capital sold Register.com to another web registration and design provider, Web.com Inc., for $135 million. Network Solutions is owned by General Atlantic Partners. Private-equity firms are attracted to the business because of the steady cash flow from monthly fee-based subscriptions and the potential for “up-selling” customers additional features to enhance their websites.