GoDaddy acqui-hires smart calendar app Canary

Steven Loeb · July 10, 2014 · Short URL:

The Canary team will be working on GoDaddy's Get Found project to connect to small businesses

(Updated with comment from GoDaddy)

Web-hosting and domain registration giant GoDaddy has purchased smart calendar app Canary, it was revealed via a post on on Canary’s website on Thursday.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but Canary did reveal that the purchase was an acqui-hire. Not only will the Canary team be coming to work at GoDaddy, but the Canary app will actually to continue to work for existing users, just without any further updates.

"Thanks to our latest update, Canary will continue to work as a standalone app on your iPhone, and you should have no problems with it unless there is a major change to one of the underlying services," the company wrote. "We will make sure that Canary remains available on the App Store until we're confident all of our existing users have had a chance to upgrade."

Canary is a calendar app for the iPhone that allows Google Calendar users to schedule meetings. Users can create events that integrate with their phone contacts to easily send invitations, as well as integrate with Foursquare to find the location of the event as well.

The app also features a home screen called Nest View that gives users a visual countdown of their next event and sends a pre-composed message to update the other attendees if the event if changed.

Now that the Canary  team is moving on to GoDaddy, it will be joining the Get Found team at  GoDaddy, the division that is designed to help small businesses connect with customers and increase their online presence. 

“At GoDaddy, we’re always looking for ways to improve our offerings for small businesses. When we met with the Canary team, we immediately felt that they shared our passion to help small businesses succeed," Rene Reinsberg, GoDaddy's GM and VP of Presence and Commerce Product, told VatorNews.

"We believe that Varun and Shaun’s mobile and design expertise will help the Get Found team build better products for our customers."

Founded in 2011, Canary was a TechStars graduate. The only money that the company had raised was a small seed round from TechStars.

Scottsdale, Arizona-based GoDaddy is one of the largest domain hosting sites on the Web, with over 57 million domains under management. Founded in 1997 and currently has 12 million customers and employs 4,000 people. In 2011, KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures purchased the company. Since then, the company has also embarked on international growth, including expansion into India.

GoDaddy also has facilities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Toronto, Amsterdam and Singapore and employs more than 3,800 people around the world.

Known for many years for its racy advertising strategy, GoDaddy has recently begun a rebranding campaign that it obviously hopes will help the world take it more seriously. That has also coincided with the hiring of its new CEO, Blake Irving, at the beginning of this year.

The company filed to go public last month, looking to raise $100 million, despite losing over $200 million in 2013.

Web hosting consolidation

When it comes to Web hosting companies, it seems that the industry is beginning to consolidate, with fewer and fewer places to for websites to turn, with many of them either shutting down or being purchased.

Just recently Web hosting provider BurstNET had its assets and client contracts purchased by a company called DigiPLUS, while was hosting provider Hosway was acquired by private equity company Littlejohn and Co.

GoDaddy itself bought Web hosting and cloud services company Media Temple in October of last year, after buying domain parking service SmartName.

The most famous example of a Web hosting service going down  in flames, though, is GeoCities, which was bought by Yahoo in January of 1999 for $3.6 billion.

Originally, the site was used by communities of people, who shared similar interests, and allows customers to create their own home page on the Internet. Each "city" was for a particular interest; for example, Silicon Valley was for pages dedicated to computers, hardware, programming, and technology, while Broadway for theater and performing arts and Wal lStreet was for business and finance.

At the time of its acquisition, GeoCities was the third most visited site on the Web behind AOL and Yahoo, with 19 million unique visitors.

The deal, however, turned out to be a bust. Yahoo tried to impose new copyright rules on members, which said that Yahoo would own all rights and content, including media such as pictures. The decision was reversed, but it still led to overwhelming anger in the GeoCities community.  

This, combined with Yahoo's decision to switch the format from neighborhoods to "vanity" URLs through members' sign-up names to Yahoo, doomed the company and so, in 2009, 10 years after being acquired, GeoCities was shut down

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