Spiceworks will merge with Ziff Davis B2B, consolidate with layoffs
What started as a vision for bringing free and low-cost IT administrative tools to managed service providers and systems administrators is culminating in acquisition.
The Lowdown: Spiceworks CEO and cofounder Jay Hallberg announced the deal with few specifics in a blog post last week, calling it the beginning of Spiceworks’ next chapter. The goal of the acquisition, he said, is to continue to build and maintain the “preeminent” marketplace that connects IT buyers and sellers.
The Details: The acquisition brings Spiceworks under Ziff Davis B2B, a New York-based media and marketing company that includes PCMag, Speedtest, and Offers.com. Ziff Davis B2B is a division of J2 Global, a conglomerate of technology and media companies that includes security vendors Vipre and IPVanish VPN, media companies Mashable and IGN, marketing technology companies iContact and Campaigner, and health services players Everyday Health and Castle Connolly Top Doctors. Ziff Davis B2B aligns with the marketing and advertising services.
The Impact: The long-term impact will likely mean the further development of Spiceworks’ tools and marketing services, as well as the integration of Spiceworks’ capabilities with other services in the J2 Global portfolio. In the short term, the acquisition will result in a certain number of layoffs at Spiceworks and Ziff Davis B2B as the two companies reduce redundant positions, said Spiceworks, which will likely share more details about the acquisition at its annual SpiceWorld conference in Austin next month.
Background: Founded in 2006, Spiceworks disrupted the SMB IT administration suite space with freemium tools supported by advertising and marketing services. Spiceworks raised more than $111 million in funding to support its development. At the time of its launch, the New York Times called Spiceworks a revolutionary approach to software go-to-market models. At one point, Spiceworks claimed to support more than 60,000 managed service providers.
The Buzz: “As a combined company, our focus is clear, and our goals are achievable: to build the preeminent marketplace that connects technology buyers and sellers. We’ll do so by marrying our greatest assets – the Spiceworks Community, our suite of products, Ziff Davis’ properties, and our combined expertise in helping technology brands find their next customer,” wrote Hallberg in a blog post. “You’ll get the insights you need to help you run your business and make smarter purchase decisions. Technology brands will gain the intelligence they need to build and sell better products. And we’ll directly connect you so you can grow your businesses together.”