On Monday, we announced that Locu has been acquired by GoDaddy. As a friend, technologist, or researcher, the acquisition might initially surprise you. Rather than repeat myself a thousand times, I figured I’d share some thoughts on the topic. Standard caveat: these words represent my thoughts, not my employer’s.
- I’m personally excited about the acquisition. We’ve been working with the folks from GoDaddy for several months now, and the team is sharp and energized about helping hundreds of millions of local merchants find their home on the web.
- Locu remains Locu as a team, a set of offices, a product, and a mission. For the most part, Locu will be bringing new technology and design to the table, and GoDaddy will be bringing a level of scale that would take years to build up on our own. Locu offers a healthy dose of data structuring and crowdsourcing technology alongside the design chops to make previously complicated things simple. GoDaddy is the largest privately held company in the world that focuses on helping small businesses with their web presence, and brings years of sales and marketing experience to Locu’s products. GoDaddy also has a deep understanding of scale both in terms of the tens of millions of people they work with, and the billions of dollars of revenue they bring in.
- Aside from the business side of things, we’re still very excited to be releasing open source projects and publishing more about our approach to structured data extraction and crowd work. The open source and research communities have been so fundamental to what we do, and I’m excited we can continue to repay that debt.
- As a human being, I care a lot about the values of the company I work for. It would be ignorant to ignore the fact that previous incarnations of GoDaddy have been responsible for sexist Super Bowl commercials, and have supported web-endangering efforts like SOPA. We’ve been assured that the people who were behind these efforts are no longer working at GoDaddy. In fact, an entirely new leadership team (including CEO, COO, CTO, Chief Architect, etc.) has been put in place since these controversies, and I count myself as one of the folks that expects a lot of them in the coming years.
From everything I’ve heard, I know that acquisitions are hard to execute well. If we pull this off, we’ll be improving the lives of local merchants and crowd workers alike, and putting new force behind structured data. I’m excited to give it a shot!
Many thanks to Rene Reinsberg for giving me feedback on many things in life, including this post.