The WP Buffs family is growing! At the beginning of this year, we completed our first ever company acquisition. WP EZI – previously owned by Paul Tselekidis – is joining the WP Buffs family. This new relationship has benefits for everyone involved. We are incredibly proud of our team for diving into this new opportunity.
We want to share exactly how this acquisition came about, what it means for them and us, and what the plans are moving forward. If you are curious about how acquisitions take place, or would like to learn more about the details of our acquisition, keep on reading!
1️⃣ How the acquisition came to be
8 months ago, we opened up a form on our site to accept inquiries for acquisitions. For 5 years we have provided WordPress maintenance and management for freelancers and agencies. In that time, we’ve learned that many agency owners prefer to outsource their maintenance services. (That’s where our White Label plans come in!)
Beyond that, we found that some business owners want to step away from their plans entirely. At the same time, they don’t want to leave their clients in the lurch.
Selling that business is a great way for that owner to close that chapter, make a profit, and ensure their client’s websites continue to succeed.
Since we started taking inquiries for acquisitions, we’ve gotten about 15-20 submissions. This was exciting because it meant that this idea had legs. But it was paramount to us that we find the perfect partnership, an excellent fit for both sides. None of these potential relationships turned out to be a good fit.
But from the first inquiry, WP EZI was different. Our CEO Joe Howard visited the WP EZI website for the first time and immediately thought, “This is a very similar business to ours. We know this, we understand this!”
The first conversation Joe had with Paul checked a lot of boxes:
- Paul was incredibly nice, straightforward and respectful. “Good vibes,” as Joe puts it! This was important because we wanted to make sure that whoever we worked with on the acquisition would be easy to get along with.
- Paul was passionate about helping with the transition. He wanted to make sure that the acquisition would go smoothly. It was, and still is, important to him that his clients would experience the smallest amount of friction possible.
- Joe realized that WP EZI was basically WP Buffs three years ago! The business was successful, but it was hard to scale it past $10-$15k MRR. WP Buffs had experienced that same roadblock. We were able to push past it. This made WP EZI an ideal candidate for an acquisition.
Working through building the deal was a team effort. WP Buffs CFO Ben McAdam built out the offer, created payout schedules, etc. COO Nick Adams focused on operations: what to integrate and to what degree, how to onboard, etc. Joe himself helped push the project forward and worked directly with Paul, shedding light on what this acquisition would mean for him and his clients.
Paul first contacted us on November 18th and the contract was finalized and signed on January 9th. Almost 10 weeks of work to make sure that the deal was beneficial to all parties involved! We think it was well worth the time.
2️⃣ The details of the acquisition
At the end of it all, WP Buffs purchased WP EZI for 5-figures. This included 65 active subscriptions and 343 total customers.
For the full story, directly from Joe and Paul, listen to our podcast episode on the acquisition.
For WP EZI clients
WP EZI clients won’t see very much of a change in their day to day experience moving forward. They will still work with the same WP EZI engineers on their websites. Their plans and pricing won’t change. But if they want to level up their plan, they can upgrade to the WP Buffs plan that is right for them.
WP EZI clients can still get one-time WordPress services through WP EZI, something WP Buffs doesn’t offer at all. So all in all, not much of a change for them on a day to day basis.
We’re really happy with this because it eliminates friction and change for the clients. They can continue working on their sites with the names and faces they already know and love.
“We made a commitment to be there for your business with WordPress support you can depend on, and with WP Buffs, our clients will be in a greater position than ever. Our clients are important to us, and they’re important to WP Buffs, too!” – Paul Tselekidis
For WP EZI engineers
WP Buffs won’t be making any changes to WP EZI’s services or branding at all, at least not right now. The only change that’s being made: WP EZI will stop selling new care plans.
WP Buffs will be taking Paul’s place as manager. The WP EZI engineers will become part of the WP Buffs family as independent contractors. We are excited to learn from them and provide them with the guidance and support they need to continue to do exceptional work. We know that the WP EZI engineers have the historical and systemic knowledge to continue to provide exceptional service.
3️⃣ What now?
The goal of the acquisition was to make sure that the WP EZI clients can keep their WordPress websites and businesses running. Paul wanted to move on to other things that suited him better. Instead of dropping the clients he had, it made the most sense to transfer them to a company that understood their needs and challenges.
It’s no small feat to build a business and develop a strong client base like he did. WP Buffs is so proud Paul chose us to continue to support and nurture what he has built.
Of course, there is a financial benefit for both sides. What business acquisition would not include that? A 5-figure payment up front means Paul can dive into the next chapter of his professional life with confidence. We are excited to see what he builds next!
As for us, because of our experience, larger team, and structured processes, we see long-term financial benefits that will allow us to continue to steadily scale what we do best.
“Just from a financial standpoint, we had bandwidth to be able to afford a purchase that will pay us back within 9-12 months. After that it’s hopefully more and more business growth under WP Buffs. It’s like a house: you pay a mortgage, once you finish paying the mortgage that’s your house. And then you can AirBNB it and that’s all profit. From a financial standpoint, that’s a big reason we wanted to do this. It’s another growth area for us.” – Joe Howard
4️⃣ Why are acquisitions beneficial to the WordPress community?
Now that WordPress powers almost 40% of the web, it’s important that all community members – from casual users to enterprise level companies – understand the responsibilities associated with that.
At WP Buffs it’s our belief that we actively contribute toward the overall security, safety, and performance of the internet by consistently maintaining and updating WordPress websites.
This acquisition means we can keep more sites maintained, keep more businesses afloat, and keep more people employed. The alternative: WP EZI dissolves, their employees have to find new jobs, and their clients risk losing their sites.
We realize acquisitions can be problematic. Monopolies are not good for any industry. When big companies eat up business that could go to growing freelancers, people push back.
This is why we worked so hard to make sure that we only acquire those businesses that are perfect for us. As we grow through acquisitions like these, we can look to putting more time and energy back into the community, employing more passionate WordPress people, and keeping more of the web secure.
Wrapping Up! 🎁
This acquisition means that we can continue to grow as a company, but can also help support lots of new WordPress websites.
We wish Paul all the best in his new endeavors and want to thank him for making this process as smooth as possible.
If you need help managing your clients WordPress sites, WP Buffs is here to help. We offer Care Plans that simplify and streamline WordPress maintenance and management tasks, including implementing marketing optimization and conversion solutions. Check them out today!
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