GoDaddy Continues Acquisition Path – Acquires Ronin Invoicing

Godaddy acquires Ronin invoicing

GoDaddy, the domain registrar and website hosting company, has acquired Ronin, an online invoicing application designed for small businesses, based in Mountain View, California. In a statement on its website, Ronin founder Lu Wang assures customers that nothing will change for the time being, noting, “You can continue to access and use Ronin to track time and send invoices as you have been doing. You can expect an update by early January as to the future of the Ronin product.”

Ronin, while not quite as well known as invoicing industry leaders such as Freshbooks, has been on our radar for at least 3 years.  We covered it in our list of 50 small-business invoicing apps as early as 2010.   It provides built-in time tracking, the ability to create estimates, and integration with PayPal and to allow clients to pay electronically.

GoDaddy is wrapping Ronin invoicing in with the features of GoDaddy Bookkeeping, a cloud product that currently goes for under $10 per month.   That product is the outgrowth of GoDaddy’s acquisition of Outright, also originally of Mountain View, in 2012.  Outright was designed as a bookkeeping application for small businesses and entrepreneurs who didn’t want or need all the complexity of a full-blown accounting application, but wanted something simpler and streamlined.

According to a statement by GoDaddy Senior Vice President, Business Applications Steven Aldrich (formerly the CEO of Outright before it was acquired), “One of our primary goals is to make the ‘business of business’ easy, and GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping does that by taking the headache out of knowing their numbers.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is one of those acquisitions that seems a natural.  It makes sense for GoDaddy, Ronin and, most importantly, small business customers.

  • For customers it is convenient and easier to have a seamlessly integrated invoicing feature in a bookkeeping solution.  Invoicing and bookkeeping are closely aligned activities in a small business.
  • For GoDaddy, it expands the functionality around managing finances that the GoDaddy Bookkeeping solution offers its customers today.
  • For Ronin it’s an advantage to have access to GoDaddy’s huge base of 12 million customers. That gives Ronin a chance to be part of something much larger. And with access to GoDaddy’s resources, Ronin can expand the services provided to its existing customers.

GoDaddy is in the process of transforming the company into a small business services platform — one that can serve the needs of small businesses beyond domain names and websites.  GoDaddy has been on the acquisition trail for the past year.  In addition to Ronin and Outright, it has also acquired, Locu and Afternic in the past 12 months.

In 2011 GoDaddy was 65% bought out from founder Bob Parsons by equity firms KKR Capstone, along with Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures.

GoDaddy is based in Scottsdale,  Arizona and has 4,000 employees.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

8 Reactions
  1. Anita,

    Transforming into a small business services platform is wise decision, IMO.

    Too much competition in domain name registration/web hosting/website builder space, and it’s only natural to offer an end-to-end service for small business; they have the infrastructure and now they only need the missing puzzles to complete the pretty picture.

    • Hi Ivan,

      I agree that increasing competition in an industry that has matured (domain name registrations) means that GoDaddy had to look elsewhere.

      The jury is still out on whether the strategy of creating a “small business services platform” focused around managing financials will pay off.

      But I’ve seen expansions into what appear to be unrelated products and industries at first glance, be wildly successful in the end.

      – Anita

    • The problem is the fact that they charge way too high compared to their competitors. Sure, they have the most popular name. But then again, they may need to look for other ways to make some money as their competitors are surely getting the better portion of the market.

  2. Hey Anita,

    Maybe somebody will raise godaddy that why they still permit dead-bead consumers to exist. Its 2013 and also the domain business STILL permits individuals to bid on domain names and never pays, despite the fact that they comply with enter into a legally binding purchase contract…

    • Hi Sagar, I am sure that is frustrating. You can run into that issue in real life, too.

      I’ve made sales and then the buyer ignores me, or doesn’t pay invoices. I know people who have sold on eBay and the buyer never comes through.

      It’s a shame it happens, but I do not think that is really GoDaddy’s responsibility to enforce payment…. Or am I missing something?

      – Anita

  3. With every acquisition GoDaddy gets deeper and deeper into the small business space. They say that one of the easiest ways to increase revenue is to sell more to existing customers and this fits right in with that strategy.

    I’ve noticed a similar trend from as they call me after every domain purchase to upsell me hosting and their website builder.

    • Hi Robert,

      Yes isn’t the focus on customer service great? A few years ago I couldn’t even imagine getting calls from companies like that.

      – Anita