This is the latest in Localogy’s Website Windup series. It examines the ongoing evolution and advancement of SMB-focused website builders, including acquisitions and feature expansion to enhance product bundles.
M&A activity in the website world continues as players make acquisitions to expand their product bundles. The latest is Godaddy’s acquisition of SkyVerge last week for an undisclosed sum. SkyVerge develops eCommerce products that orbit the WooCommerce ecosystem within the broader WordPress world.
This brings GoDaddy new capabilities and new markets. Taking those one at a time, new capabilities include a greater range of eCommerce offerings for GoDaddy’s website customers. This is opportune timing as all-things eCommerce are in high demand, and as eCommerce inflects as a share of consumer spending.
So like many others, GoDaddy is meeting the moment by beefing up its eCommerce offerings. SkyVerge helps it do that with turnkey WooCommerce stores that can get built and activated quickly. This includes more than 60 WooCommerce extensions for things like payments, email marketing and memberships.
In terms of scale, SkyVerge plugins have been downloaded more than 3.1 million times and are used by more than 100,000 merchants. Both companies claim that SkyVerge will continue to support these customers as well as its existing product portfolio, regardless of any new market expansion that GoDaddy brings.
That brings us to the point about “new markets.” For one, this could expand SkyVerge’s addressable market beyond the WordPress universe, as GoDaddy has its own site builder that is separate from the WordPress framework. This could mean greater reach for SkyVerge while GoDaddy benefits in the above ways.
In another sense, this also positions GoDaddy deeper within the WordPress universe. As background, WordPress is an open-source website builder and framework. Within the WordPress world, vendors make money by selling plugins, developer services, website hosting and domain hosting.
The latter is where GoDaddy lives. But by acquiring SkyVerge, it now expands its position in the WordPress universe beyond those last two pieces. It’s now better positioned to monetize the use and development of functional plugins. WooCommerce is a good place to start, given its prevalence and scale.
Putting some numbers behind that, WordPress powers more than a third of websites on the Internet. And seventeen percent of all WordPress sites use WooCommerce, making it one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms. This has attracted an ecosystem of developers and plugins that support it… including SkyVerge.
Interestingly, WooCommerce is owned by Automattic which runs WordPress.com, the largest site and domain host in the WordPress world. In that way, it competes with GoDaddy. So GoDaddy’s move into the WooCommerce world could get a bit colorful in terms of competitive dynamics. We’ll keep an eye on it.