GoDaddy Plans to Go Public with an IPO in Second Half of 2014

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It’s the brand we all know as the place to buy domain names. And (in the past) it was a brand known for its racy SuperBowl ads featuring girls in tight T-Shirts. But today, GoDaddy is reportedly mulling over plans to file for an IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The paper quoted unnamed sources recently saying the company is interviewing banks to underwrite in an upcoming IPO.

GoDaddy has gone through a transformation in recent years since its leveraged buyout in 2011 for an estimated $2.25 billion.

Under new management, GoDaddy has steadily moved toward serving Main Street small businesses, and distanced itself from the outspoken image developed by its Founder, Bob Parsons.

Companies often signal plans for filing an IPO, but then it takes time to put plans in place — sometimes a year or longer — before the IPO occurs. Sometimes the plans are scrapped and the IPO never occurs. Because of its 12 million customers, many of whom are small businesses and solo entrepreneurs, this IPO could be an important one for the small business market.

In a conversation with CEO Blake Irving, Venture Beat reports what going public might mean for the company and it’s customers:

“I see a very clear path of how to make GoDaddy the most valued, largest platform for small businesses in the world. It is quite clear that no one is doing it right yet.”

After taking over in 2013 Irving expressed a goal to transform the company into a primary service provider for small business.

In 2012, GoDaddy began its transformation into a suite of small business services by acquiring Outright, an online bookkeeping service.

In August 2013, GoDaddy acquired Locu, a company helping small business owners update their information across numerous sites like Yelp from one location.

In September 2013, the company unveiled a new advertising campaign re-branding the company as a one-stop shop for small businesses including Web hosting, design and a variety of other services.

Last October, GoDaddy acquired Ronin, an online invoicing service for small businesses.

If the IPO plan goes forward, GoDaddy could be looking at a public offering sometime in the second half of this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Image: GoDaddy


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

5 Reactions
  1. Surely there are better places to buy domain names than from this company.

    • While there are cheaper alternatives, I still find using Godaddy easier. But that’s just me. You may still want to find some alternatives if you want to buy a lot of domain names.

  2. With all their recent acquisitions geared toward the SMB space I think an IPO would be a good move. And the toned down advertising of late will help too!

  3. When it comes to buying domains, you’ll probably be looking for the best deal available. I just bought one for less than a dollar earlier this week. Hard to beat that price. And I found their tech support to be very helpful and friendly. The person even told me how to get that domain hosted through another provider.