Simple Market Observations
In 2017, a group of seasoned webhosting entrepreneurs started Total Webhosting Solutions (TWS) together with Strikwerda Investments, a leading Dutch family office – predominantly focused on investments in IT companies. The start of TWS was based on some simple market observations:
Many webhosting entrepreneurs can’t continue their businesses independently at a small scale. The European webhosting market is a maturing market. Growth is driven through pricing or specialization, making growth relative expensive while domains and webhosting will experience increasing price pressure. These developments magnify the importance for absolute scale, leading to market consolidation.
Leading this consolidation and working with standard private equity firms is, for most webhosting entrepreneurs, often not a viable option. Private equity firms focus on the larger players and are in the game of financial engineering and maximizing short term external stakeholder value. Overall, they lack trust of the savvier webhosting entrepreneurs and do not provide a viable longterm perspective. Most entrepreneurs don’t want to become part of this private equity play and end up as stunted spreadsheet managers, or sell their company and have to leave their beloved creations altogether.
Often, the real performance potential and value creation for entrepreneurs is yet to come. They struggle to find a balance between divesting their business to get direct cash and the desire to stay involved long-term in directing their business into new territory and accelerating performance. Combining a horizon of a liquidity event with long-term wealth creation is of interest, but impossible to find.
The problem is that entrepreneurs cannot balance these different interests in the traditional private equity game or with traditional consolidators. Often, they feel squeezed and belittled working with these conventional firms.
This mismatch led the people behind TWS to put the vision of “a European house of Webhosting brands” in place and refine a lean-and-mean modus operandi to execute on it.
- Providing Webhosting entrepreneurs with a better way to secure short- and long-term interests;
- Giving room for strong independent local entrepreneurship with strong local brands;
- Sharing the vision of improving performance through best practices.
House of Brands vs Branded House
Where Procter & Gamble is a “house of brands” in FMCG, TWS is a house of brands in webhosting.
Most consolidators focus on synergistic benefits and economies of scale and are typical “branded houses”, meaning that acquired companies are fully integrated and standardized, killing the value of the local entrepreneurship and brand.
Where TWS Fills the Gap
We fill the gap between selling your company and leave the business altogether, or continuing on your own. Supported by experienced webhosting entrepreneurs, M&A experts, analysts, and a network of industry peers, TWS provides practical guidance in both autonomous and acquisitive growth. And that’s not all; we are a learning performance house of webhosting brands. Together we are getting smarter with each acquisition. More local heroes mean more best practices, meaning better cross-fertilization.
The beauty of our learning business model is that each entrepreneur brings its unique set of performance skills. Together we’re executing a so-called “Compounding Investment Strategy,” meaning we reinvest the generated group cash into the local entrepreneurship and brand – creating additional entrepreneurial wealth over time while building your local empire.
The people behind TWS have expertise and experience, as well as a proven track record in European Buy & Build strategies. They have done it before and know that running spreadsheets is not enough.