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Young Entrepreneurs Complete 9th Acquisition

21 August 2006

Young Entrepreneurs Complete 9th Acquisition

What they lack in age they make up for in amibition, and with the successful acquisition of their 9th business this week, these young entrepreneurs are on their way to creating their very own business empire.

Self-professed IT geeks Daniel Williams and Steve Hogg, both 29, started their business Web Drive back in 1997 while completing studies at university, providing web hosting and domain name services to New Zealand businesses. Over the last 9 years they have built it into a highly successful and profitable business, serving over 1,400 business customers in the premium end of the market.

This last week they acquired the customers and assets of Christchurch-based competitor, Webbase, adding a further 640 customers.

"We're very exicted about the acquistion," said Williams "as it gives us an opportunity to establish a presence in the discount market through an existing brand."

Further acquisitions play a major role in Web Drive's growth strategy, and this latest one follows 8 other takeovers in just two years. "All the companies have approached Web Drive beause of our reputation for customer service," said Williams "A lot of smaller players find running this type of service to be very challenging as it requires 24/7 attention, so when it comes time to sell they want a company they can trust with their customers."

With the acquisition of Webbase, Web Drive is expecting revenues to exceed $1.5 million this year, having achieved an impressive growth rate of over 150% in the last 2 years.

With market share currently sitting at around 5 percent the company is looking to double this to 10 percent in the next 12 months through further acquisitions, expansion, and diversification. "Our next major goals are expansion into the Australian market, and taking a bite of the lucrative software market with several new products aimed at global business customers," said Williams.

Meanwhile it's business as usual for Webbase and its customers, with the Webbase brand continuing unchanged. "We've seen the growth of the business over the last 3 years," said Williams, "so we're not going to make any changes to what is already a successful product in the market.

Williams and Hogg were both finalists in last year's Ernst & Young - Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.


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