At the start of its 2012 fiscal year in August Vistaprint NV told Wall Street analysts the company would be making a series of acquisitions to bolster its base as an international online retailer of printing and related services to consumers and small businesses. So far Vistaprint has been true to its word.
Vistaprint’s latest acquisition is Webs Inc. for $117.5 million in cash. Webs offers a suite of templates and other do-it-yourself design services small businesses can use to create e-commerce, mobile commerce, and social media sites or updates.
Webs, which will generate revenue of about $9 million in 2011, was launched in 2001 and has about 100,000 subscribers.
“Webs’ suite of products delivers value to micro-businesses, helping them to look professional online in order to grow their business,” says Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane. “Vistaprint is already successfully delivering digital marketing services to our customer base, with hundreds of thousands of active registered customers and over $50 million in digital subscription revenues last fiscal year. Webs complements this success with a business model based primarily on free products that has achieved impressive customer reach.”
Webs offers retailers and other small businesses some free templates to design a web site and also offers other paid services such as domain name registration, e-mail management, video and customer service support. Other tools from Webs include Pagemodo, a program for consumers and businesses to create and update a Facebook page, and ContactMe, a set of customer relationship management applications.
The acquisition of Webs is the second by Vistaprint Ltd., No.36 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in the last several months. In October Vistaprint acquired Albumprinter, a company based in the Netherlands that sells photo books and products. Vistaprint paid about 60 million euros (US$83.4 million) for the Dutch firm, with an additional payment of 5 million euros (US$6.9 million) possible if Albumprinter meets unspecified financial goals.