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GoDaddy Sells To Investor Group 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the find-out-more-at-skeezy-ads-dot-com dept.
wiredmikey writes "Domain name registrar and Web hosting provider GoDaddy, announced it has agreed to receive a strategic investment from private equity firms KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported people familiar with the deal saying it could be worth approximately $2.25 billion. The Scottsdale, Arizona based company which has built its marketing around scantly-clad women, manages more than 48 million domain names."
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GoDaddy Sells To Investor Group

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  • meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    as an employee -- i cringe to see how our "Unique Corporate Culture" will come crashing down around us. Does this mean no more "Mario-Cart" during our breaks?

  • Cashout Before Burst (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@EEEgmail.com minus threevowels> on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:36PM (#36642714)
    Cashin' out the chips and going home before the inevitable bubble burst. The press release makes it sound like a 'partnership'. Is that just hipster MBA speak for politely saying that we've just been completely bought and that lots uf employees will be hosed to keep the investors happy? Time will tell...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:42PM (#36642752)

      It's KKR.

      The barbarians are at the gate.

      They will pile the company, emit dividends with wherever cash there's in the company, mass layoff employees, break it up in separate divisions and sell it.

      • by lucm (889690)

        This makes no sense whatsoever. First of all, Godaddy never completed its IPO and private equity firms rarely invest billions of dollars in a private company just to leech on its cash... As for breaking up the company, exactly how do you suggest KKR would do it (supposing that they are a majority partner, which nobody can confirm)? Separate the registrar and hosting departments? Spin-off the IT department to compete the Geek Squad? Completely ludicrous.

        As for "Barbarians at the gate": it is a bidding war f

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          It's also mentioned that Silver Lake is also one of the partners here. The same Silver Lake that just fired the entire Skype executive structure prior to the sale to Microsoft to reduce the amount of profit they have to share.

          I can see this going badly for GoDaddy. More like GoneDaddy.

    • A bubble, seriously. How did this happen? Too much money as a result of inflation? I don't know, but......

      When people start talking about a trillion dollar valuation for Facebook [wsj.com], you know there is something wrong. Facebook has good revenue growth, [wikipedia.org] but come on.
    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Most likely this means support jobs moved to a foreign country or outsourced.

      The Support/Call center for Godaddy is actually in Scottsdale Arizona.
    • by lucm (889690)

      If you have money in a 401(k) or RRSP (in Canada), odds are that *you* are one of the happy investors.

      This is the fun part in capitalism. You work hard and put a little money aside for your retirement. Since you want this money to grow and at least beat inflation, you invest in a mutual fund. That fund pools money from thousands of small investors and takes huge positions in the stock market - but also in order to mitigate risks it creates partnerships with private equity firms (such as KKR) to have assets

  • Godaddy Alternatives (Score:5, Informative)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:45PM (#36642768) Homepage

    Namecheap has the best interface I've encountered.

    Moniker is so-so. The interface is somewhat clunky, and it doesn't register domains as fast as Namecheap. For multiple domains, it puts them into a batch job that starts executing a few minutes later.

    Any other good ones?

    • by Eil (82413)

      I've stuck with namecheap over the years because they offer a lot of services for free that other registrar's charge extra for (DNS hosting, email forwarding, etc).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dynadot has definitely won my loyalty. They have bulk registration and a very clean interface. Also, they have a lot of coupons periodically for transfers and certain TLDs. I used to just buy my domains through my web host but I've since transfered them all to Dynadot.

    • This one isn't bad. http://www.internetbs.net/ [internetbs.net]
    • by fermion (181285)
      Namecheap is the firm I went to when I switched from Godaddy. Godaddy, from their behavior, seemed to think that they owned my domain and I was just leasing it. Not cool with me.

      I find it much easier to use the namecheap interfaces. It is possible to order a domain through a shared hosting provider, but I prefer to order the domain and web hosting seperately.

    • enomcentral was a former enom.com reseller. enom doesnt sell to retail. it sells to resellers like web hosts, domain registrars etc. but when a big reseller flopped (enomcentral) enom took over the control of the outfit with agreement in order to prevent domain owners from going down. now it belongs to enom. in order to not compete with its resellers, enom charges quite high prices at enomcentral. but, enom is the most reliable domain registrar on the internet. in everything ranging from renewals to copyrig
      • by qpqp (1969898)
        Could you get into a little more detail about what you mean by "reliable" in regard to "copyright/dmca issues?"
        • by unity100 (970058)
          godaddy had the habit of speedily confiscating your domain without even giving you a chance to reply (as per law) against a dmca request. enomcentral, not as such.
    • I had a good experience with http://www.dreamhost.com/ [dreamhost.com] a few years ago. Employee owned company with good prices, good service, and active forums that DreamHost's employee's participated in regularly.
    • www.nearlyfreespeech.net [nearlyfreespeech.net] will register your domains, host your website, forward your mail, and do it all without the soul-sucking experience you get everywhere else. Speaking as a satisfied customer.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Thanks for this, it seems to have some good features, and it beats even Namecheap on price.

        Have you used the interface? Is it easy to make mass updates (select the domains you want to change, and then update nameservers en masse?)

  • GoDaddy Girls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DKirk (2315490) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:49PM (#36642790)
    I've used GoDaddy for many years but have started to shy away from them recently due to the girls being just a little over the top for a professional business. I found it awkward too many times dealing with businesses and their comments regarding the plastering of girls everywhere on the site, especially when I'm dealing with a female executive and the awkwardness when the girls display on the screen front and center. Another issue with GoDaddy is their site always feels sluggish, as if they are running their site on 10 year old servers.
    • by Meshach (578918)

      I've used GoDaddy for many years but have started to shy away from them recently due to the girls being just a little over the top for a professional business

      And those commercials with the elderly lady doing a strip tease did not do anything for me.

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        I've used GoDaddy for many years but have started to shy away from them recently due to the girls being just a little over the top for a professional business

        And those commercials with the elderly lady doing a strip tease did not do anything for me.

        Real soon now: GoGranny.

    • by todrules (882424)
      I couldn't have said it better myself.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I still use them and I still recommend them on account of their excellent telephone customer service. But I'll definitely be keeping an eye on how things turn out with this.

    • by sco08y (615665)

      Plastering everywhere on the site?

      Just checking their site: on the front page, there is one image and a few videos with girls. And the commercials, the merchandise and the blog highlight the girls.

      But there are no girls on the major nav sections, except for domains, and none on the support or account creation. Most of the site has no models at all, not surprising since they probably charge per page.

      • Well one of the GoDaddy girls at least has a day job if they change marketing themes: Danica Patrick, Indy Car/NASCAR racer.

    • 3DPD.
      'nuff said.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      I had the exact same experience. I don't know who their CEO is, but I suspect he got his career start running strip clubs. Their marketing is way too embarrassing for anyone to recommend them. I got to where I was scared of copping a sexual harassment allegation for even directing anyone to their website.

  • "The Scottsdale, Arizona based company which has built its marketing around scantly-clad women" There it is. Now we do the traditional Wall street dance known as the hump and dump. Send the Go Daddy girls in.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:57PM (#36642814)

    To my knowledge they were one of the very few SSL providers which immediately revoked (and redistributed) every SSL certificate made with openssl when the Debian SSL disaster struck in 2008.

    And well; coming from Europe I have to say that the continuous examples as to how prude the US actually is always makes me chuckle. The banned superbowl commercials for example; when looking at those I often have a hard time understanding what the fuss is all about.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      And well; coming from Europe I have to say that the continuous examples as to how prude the US actually is always makes me chuckle. The banned superbowl commercials for example; when looking at those I often have a hard time understanding what the fuss is all about.

      I doubt the commercials were really banned. Marketing just says they are to pique people's curiosity and get them to visit the website. There's a rather wide gulf between watching a commercial for a website on TV, and getting people to actuall

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To my knowledge they were one of the very few SSL providers which immediately revoked (and redistributed) every SSL certificate made with openssl when the Debian SSL disaster struck in 2008.

      That is utterly WRONG and FALSE!

      I was one of the people that was affected by Debian OpenSSL screwup. I had an SSL certificate with GoDaddy. I had revoked the certificate and asked if I could reissue another, for the duration of the original at least. I was flatly told NO by GoDaddy support.

      So, it is utterly INCORRECT that GoDaddy reissued every certificate for people affected by Debian OpenSSL security issue.

    • The banned superbowl commercials for example

      No, they were banned because if fat, Dorito-munching Americans thought they could get girlfriends, they wouldn't be sitting in front of the TV watching the Superbowl.

  • scantly-clad women,

    By which, I presume, they mean SCANTILY-clad women?

    Also, this seems like investing in MySpace. People already were tired of a lot of GoDaddy practices, including the crap site full of attempts to pile on "value-adds" at the end of a purchase. Those who weren't tired of that were getting tired of the CEO's antics. All this will do is coax those who have meant to get around to switching registrars to finally do it. The only people who will still keep using GoDaddy will be a rank similar to those who still use

  • This is somewhat off topic, but I found this part of the article interesting: "The Scottsdale, Arizona based company [...] manages more than 48 million domain names."

    According to http://www.domaintools.com/internet-statistics/ [domaintools.com], there are now 95 million .com domains, 14 million .net and 9 million .org.

    Given that there are 7 billion people in the world (of which a lot use the internet), and afaik many of them register domains, not to mention all the squatters and companies, I find this a surprisingly small am

    • by Hermanas (1665329)

      Don't forget the millions and millions of local domains (.co.uk, .us, .it, .co, .za, etc.).

      Also, 100 million domains translates to about 1 .com domain for every 10 people using the internet (assuming 1/6 of the world population uses the net at least once a year, I didn't look it up now, but it's around there) - which means the average domain has 10 unique page views per year (that's really, really few), is it still really so hard to believe?

      • by Hermanas (1665329)
        Sorry, that's 10 unique visitors per year, not page views, and hopefully more, since every person does not just visit one website.
  • Now all my GoDaddy... oh... okay.
  • Now to go thru the hell of domain transfers with private domain name servers. faaaaakkkkkkk Ive got over 20 of them.
    • by lothos (10657)

      I've transferred domains a ton of times and never had an issue. Your nameserver settings will remain the same, unless you're transferring a .eu domain. For .com/.net/.org you won't have any downtime.

  • it could be worth approximately $2.25 billion

    I wonder if they will suffer another new kind of malfunction - cash malfunction, value slipping down.

  • For your clicking convenience - lol
    KKR Pioneer in leveraged buy-outs
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg_Kravis_Roberts [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Kohlberg,_Jr [wikipedia.org].
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kravis [wikipedia.org]

    Silverlake Partners
    also tech investors
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Lake_Partners [wikipedia.org]

    SKYPE
    Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announce the acquisition of 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from E-Bay, valuing the business at $2.75 billion

    From the Wikipedia

    "Early

  • I knew this would happen, After the Elephant incident I moved all my 5 domains to namecheap TAKE THAT GODADDY !
  • I've had the displeasure of setting up hosting for people who've purchased their domains from GoDaddy.

    There's always some problem or another; Some basic task will just not work for no reason until you transfer the domain away from their greedy little paws.

    Most recently it was the MX records of a local non-profit's site. The .com MX records would simply not correctly point to the hosting provider's MX records. Thankfully I quickly purchased the .org companion domain in the non-profit's name via their hosting provider, and we used the .org site's mailing instead (until the .com was transferred -- the hosting plan included 3 domain names). GoDaddy tech support said they were aware of the issue, had their techs working on the problem, and would notify me when it was fixed -- It didn't get "fixed" for 6 months.

    I once searched and searched for a short catchy name to use for my software product that wasn't taken yet... I actually came up with a fitting name that didn't turn up any Google results or whois queries. I was already had the GoDaddy site open in a tab -- managing a client's domain -- so I quickly searched with GoDaddy to ensure the domain wasn't taken -- GoDaddy showed the domain was available, and at the lowest standard price too!

    That night, at home, I couldn't register the domain via a different Registrar. I gave up after trying 3 other hosts, frustrated and upset. Two days later, I was at GoDaddy, and just impulsively entered the domain name I wanted -- It was shown as available?! However, the price had risen -- a 10 fold increase! I scratched my head, and a phone call interrupted me.

    About an hour later I tried to register the domain from GoDaddy and it had already sold.

    Apparently if you search for a domain on GoDaddy, they immediately reserve it. This prevents you from using another Registrar to purchase the domain, but it keeps others from snatching it away -- This benefit is utterly destroyed as they then advertise the domain you searched for as a "premium" domain to other shoppers and allow them to "back-order" it in the event that you don't complete your purchase before your "grace period" expires. Thereby ensuring that if you search for your domain on GoDaddy, you must purchase it via GoDaddy. (I've added their site to my hosts file blacklists at home).

    Ultimately I tried contacting the registrant -- They turned out to be domain squatters who auctioned off domains via automated online auction sites, and wanted to sell it to me for even more money than they were auctioning it off at. I refused on principal; I would not fund such a practice.

    As with other items that have a demand and (artificial) scarcity, a market was formed around the domain names. This is why new URIs are typically terrible...

    I suppose I could register WhereHaveAllTheDomainNamesGoneDamnIt.com, but I think I'll just start spam searching crappy names like that to drive up their prices and cause some mischief instead.

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