Webs.com Not So Free: Sold To Vistaprint For $117.5 Million

December 19, 2011

9:30 pm

Today Webs.com was acquired by the Dutch printing company Vistaprint for a reported $117.5 million ($100 million in cash and $17.5 in stock). Webs.com was started in 2001 in Silver Spring, Maryland by then-college students Haroon Mokhtarzada and his brother Zeki. Previously called Freewebs, the product helps people create simple websites.

The company raised $11 million in funding from Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Columbia Capital in 2006 and eventually dropped “free” from it’s name. Nigel Morris, the co-founder of Capital One Financial Services and former CEO and president of Capital One Financial Corporation, is also an investor. Shervin Pishevar is also a former President and current board member.

They now offer a number of services, including PageModo, which helps people create Facebook pages, and ContactMe, a simple CRM system. Webs reportedly has millions of active users and over 100,000 paying subscribers.

Webs CEO, Haroon Mokhtarzada, had this to say about the acquisition:

“Our companies share a common vision for the future of micro business marketing, and bring complementary products and competencies to the table. We believe Webs will flourish as a part of Vistaprint, providing significant value to both our customers and our employees.”

I’ve been a Vistaprint business card customer for quite some time, so, from my perspective, it makes a lot of sense for the company to turn to Webs.com as a way to offer its customers additional business-related services. Given the current focus on entrepreneurship in this country, a complete offering of easy to use, low barrier of entry service offerings at extremely competitive prices really hits an economic sweet spot.

Vistaprint is a publicly traded company and closed at $30.21 today on the NASDAQ. The deal is expected to be completed within one month.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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