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Go Daddy Gets Going in Small Business M&A

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ( TheStreet) - Go Daddy, the Web hosting service known for its provocative advertisements, is acquiring accounting software company Outright, its first outright acquisition in small business services.

Outright was created in 2008 by two former Intuit (INTU - Get Report) executives, Ben Curren and Kevin Reeth (who is no longer with the company) to provide an alternative to frustrating and hard-to-maintain spreadsheets used by many business owners. The software automates and organizes small business accounting tasks. Outright software can also import data from popular marketplaces like eBay (EBAY), PayPal, Amazon(AMZN ) and Etsy, as well as bank accounts and credit cards.

Outright serves more than 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"This is a great fit for our customer base," Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman said in a release announcing the deal on Wednesday.

Outright "has built easy-to-use software that streamlines the work involved with running a start-up or small business ... the taxes, income, profits, expenses and other financial data that can be an administrative distraction for business owners," Adelman said. "We see this as an ideal extension for our suite of small business products, which are all geared toward helping businesses grow bigger."

Outright customers will also have the ability to take advantage of Go Daddy's suite of cloud-based services and customer service.

"We believe our customers benefit because of the range of Go Daddy products and services designed explicitly for small business owners," Outright CEO Steven Aldrich said in a release.

It's an "opportunity to bring Outright to so many more small businesses," Aldrich said in a follow-up interview.

Go Daddy has more than 10.4 million customers, the majority of which are small businesses.

"Most of their customers are still using spreadsheets," Aldrich said, adding, "The opportunity is large."

Aldrich, along with all of his Outright colleagues, including co-founder Ben Curren, are joining Go Daddy and will remain anchored in Silicon Valley.

The Outright acquisition is the latest development in Go Daddy's mission to help businesses thrive online. Go Daddy received an investment from KKR (KKR), Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures in late 2011 to expand its services to customers. Since then, the company has also embarked on an international expansion, including expanding into India.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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