Web.com Buys Acquisio; Eyes AI and Machine Learning Assets

Web.com announced today that it is acquiring the assets of Montreal-based Acquisio and adding them to its growing stable of small business digital products.

Acquisio brings to the table a data science tools platform that increasingly focuses on artificial intelligence and automation. The platform will be added to Web.com’s other products, which now include templated websites, SEO and domain names. The transaction price was not announced, although Acquisio has been known to be shopping itself for some time.

In its press release, Web.com emphasized its interest in bringing Acquisio’s expertise in artificial intelligence in-house. The company has invested heavily in technology that helps agencies scale SMB accounts by automating campaigns on major ad platforms, including Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Bing Ads, and reducing cost per click.

Acquisio also brings a healthy number of small and independent agency accounts to the fold. The Montreal headquarters office itself is seen as an asset, as Montreal is emerging as a software hub that specializes in AI.

The larger question is whether Acquisio’s assets can help Web.com upsell customers, reduce churn, and raise its average revenue per user — which declined to $17.72 per user in 2Q 2017, down from $18.66 in 2Q 2016. Web.com currently has 3.49 Million subscribers across its various products.

While Web.com is still known primarily as a provider of inexpensive, templated Web sites, the company has invested heavily in technology companies to expand its offerings and revenue in recent years. These include Yodle in mid-2016, which it acquired for $320 Million, and Network Solutions Inc. in mid-2011, which it acquired for $405 Million.

Yodle provided programmatic advertising, SEO and CRM solutions for larger SMBs and franchises, while Network Solutions largely provides domain services.

The acquisition may also help position Web.com against a growing list of competitors, who are each adding comprehensive platform components as they compete for SMBs. These include DexYP, Hibu, Go Daddy, Endurance, which bought Constant Contact last year; Deluxe Corp., Wix, Main Street Hub, SignPost and Vistaprint.

Originally published in Street Fight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *