The company I work for, OrangeSoda, has some exciting news! They’ve been acquired by Deluxe Corp. (NYSE: DLX) for $27.7 million in cash. This marks the first time I’ve worked for a publicly traded company. I barely missed Ancestry.com going public. Almost every startup I worked for is no longer in business.
Deluxe is best known for being one of the top 2 check companies. As an affiliate marketer I’ve been interested in the check niche. However, as the last earnings report indicates, the check business is declining (no surprise here). From their latest earnings report: “Revenue was $57.8 million compared to $61.8 million in 2011, primarily driven by lower order volume resulting from the continued decline in check usage.”
Deluxe has been expanding their small business niche which is OrangeSoda’s primary market. This is Deluxe’s first acquisition this year. Last year they acquired a direct mail company for $45 million. It makes sense to focus on growth niches rather than the declining check niche. The businesses who want checks should also need things like a logo, email marketing, hosting, a website, and online advertising /SEO (affiliates take note). That’s where OrangeSoda comes in. OrangeSoda’s primary strengths are paid search management and search engine optimization for small business, especially local businesses. My favorite product is the microsites we build, part of the Blend product, as well as the product that I manage. The optimized sites are ideal for a locally owned business.
The company culture of OrangeSoda is young, fun and internet-savvy. Just like the old days, the way to most employee’s heart are saying these 2 words: free food. I wrote the fake press release to poke fun at the extreme cost cutting at OrangeSoda. Food is still much sought-after (we’re still hungry).
When I started working at OrangeSoda just over 4 years ago, the culture is what drew me. I vowed I would never again work for a company that wasn’t online-focused. No blocked social media sites. No uphill battle trying to convince them to blog, tweet and Facebook. When I got to OrangeSoda one of the first things I did was start the corporate blog.
This is the industry I love and want to be in the thick of. I’ve loved watching the branding and marketing evolve because for a somewhat boring (to outsiders), they’ve made it a lot of fun. Here’s what I mean – look who showed up to the big meeting about the acquisition:
I see this investment as an investment in not only OrangeSoda, but in Utah. No jobs will be lost because of the purchase, in fact I think OrangeSoda will likely expand. I’m reminded of Utah’s growth in the tech industry every time I drive by this Adobe building on my way to/from OrangeSoda:
Congrats to OrangeSoda and Deluxe on this deal – here’s hoping it will continue to be a great thing for our state and industry!