Go Daddy Enters Into Private Equity Partnership

World's top domain name seller gets an infusion of $2.2 billion as private equity takes a stake.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jul 5, 2011
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Go Daddy is getting new partners as the domain registrar and hosting providing is aiming for continued growth.

Privately-held Go Daddy is entering into a strategic partnership with private equity firms KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures. The amount of the equity investment is reported to be approximately $2.25 Billion.

"I've always said we would make a move like this when the right deal with the right partners could help us do the right thing for our customers and our employees," said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons in a statement. "This is it! We are partnering with KKR, Silver Lake and TCV because of their technology expertise, their understanding of Web based businesses and because their values align with ours."

Parsons is the colorful founder of Go Daddy and has used some extraordinary methods to grow his business. Among his method have been racy SuperBowl ads, some of which were rejected by the broadcast networks, only to receive more attention online. Parsons has also hired Indy Car driver Danika Patrick to be one of the Go Daddy girls which appear in his commercials and represent the brand online.

In addition to being a domain registrar, Go Daddy has also emerged in recent years as one of the largest providers of SSL site certificates. In June, Go Daddy issued a release claiming that they were the number one provider of net new SSL certificates for the month of May. In total, Go Daddy has more than 500,000 SSL certs currently in the market.

In the SSL space, Go Daddy competes against Symantec's SSL business unit, which was acquired from Verisign for $1.28 Billion in 2010.

"Go Daddy is powerfully positioned for future growth as it continues to innovate and add to its truly unique platform of cloud-based software and services," Greg Mondre, Managing Director, of Silver Lake said in a statement. "At the same time, we plan to maintain and augment all of the attributes that have made Go Daddy a clear market leader today, including world class customer support and competitive pricing for its 9.3 million customers."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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