News & Analysis

Why Australian startup Elto will play such a pivotal role in GoDaddy’s growth plans

- April 14, 2015 2 MIN READ

It was recently reported that Australian startup Elto (originally Tweaky) founded by PJ Murray and Ned Dwyer had been acquired by web hosting and services provider GoDaddy for an undisclosed amount. Elto officially launched in July 2012 and had the backing of some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and VC’s like Mark Harbottle (99Designs, Sitepoint), Leni Mayo (Learnable) and Niki Scevak (Blackbird VC), to name a few.

Elto connects small businesses with website developers to make ‘tweaks’ or carry out small website-based projects. The company vet their developer community; and according to TechCrunch, at the time of the recent sale, had 25,000 customers on its platform that had used its services, with an average project rate of $300.

Over the last couple of years, GoDaddy has been working hard to transform itself as it prepared for its IPO – the company ended up with a valuation of $4 billion. Part of that planning has been the launch of GoDaddy Pro BETA, a program that the company created specifically to service web professionals and their needs.

It is completely new technology that has been created to help GoDaddy provide a better, more in-depth service for its 13 million strong customer base. It has been designed so that developers and web designers can manage things like site monitoring, shopping carts, account access and support functions across a dashboard for their clients. Elto will play a critical role in building out and systemising the functionality around the GoDaddy Pro Support functionality.

The GoDaddy Pro service has been created for adhoc freelancers and full-time service providers alike, and will work well for Elto’s community of developers and web professionals as they will have even more tools at their disposal to service small business clients that need a variety of small to medium sized projects completed for their websites.

It is critical that ‘Pro’ grows and becomes a profitable service offering for GoDaddy. As many critics over the last few weeks have duly noted, although the company is 18 years old, it still feels like a rather ‘immature’ internet company that burns cash and is unprofitable – it has lost $622 million in the last three years.

The company did raise $460 million at the beginning of the month due to its IPO and is clearly using that money to snap up new technology, platforms and talent to transform its offerings and increase the average spend per client across its database. Dwyer and Murray who will join GoDaddy leading the marketplace team as part of the deal, will continue to grow the Elto platform for GoDaddy, and clients will be serviced separately at first before an eventual roll-into the GoDaddy platform. I would also speculate that around the time this happens the Elto name will be dropped completely as it becomes an integral part of the ‘Pro’ platform.

“Ned and PJ have built something people truly want at Elto — and something that GoDaddy’s small- to medium-sized business customers need,” said Jeff King, General Manager of Hosting at GoDaddy in a statement on the GoDaddy blog. “We’re thrilled to welcome them into the GoDaddy family.”

Featured image: PJ Murray and Ned Dwyer | Source: GoDaddy Blog