GoDaddy has acquired local data syndication platform Locu. I spoke with GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving and Rene Reinsberg, CEO of Locu.
The Locu network includes Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Facebook, Citysearch, Open Table and Time Out (I’m sure there are others). SinglePlatform was acquired by Constant Contact last year for similar reasons. The acquisition price there was $100 million.
Data syndication platform Yext remains independent and others, such as Local Market Launch and UBL, also offer this service. There’s a question in my mind as to whether data syndication is headed toward “commodity” status. Regardless, it has become one of the critical capabilities in local. It’s a “must have” for local marketing services providers.
Locu will now become a permanent part of GoDaddy’s portfolio of SMB marketing services. The acquisition arises out of a partnership the company announced in June with GoDaddy. (Kara Swisher was told the acquisition price was $70 million.)
As I’ve written previously GoDaddy is an emerging giant in the SMB/local marketing segment. Earlier this year the company told me that it had 11 million domain customers (globally) and 55 million domains under management. About 70% of GoDaddy customers are SMBs according to the company.
Blake Irving said that half of GoDaddy’s revenue now comes from services other than basic domain registration. I would guess most of that is in hosting.
Domain registration (and later website development) is a powerful way for GoDaddy to gain the ear of SMBs. It then uses telephone sales — there are 2,000 sales/service reps — to offer a range of other digital marketing services, including SEO, PPC advertising and social media.
I spoke to Irving about the degree to which GoDaddy was thinking about getting into back-office support for SMBs. He said the company has thought about it but that it’s focused for now on providing basic services beyond domain registration and hosting to its SMB customers.
What do you think about the outlook for GoDaddy and how successful it will be in offering marketing services to SMBs?