Web hosting business in Nordic countries is being consolidated at a rapid rate. As a result of this, One.com has acquired 100% of the Finnish web hosting company Zoner. It’s their first acquisition in Finland and with it, One.com will expand its operations to Finland as a new landmark on their rising conquest of the Nordic markets.
One.com is an internationally known web hosting company that was established in 2002 in Denmark. Nowadays One.com is one of the leading companies in Europe with 1.5 million customers, according to their website. In recent years, they have also acquired companies at least in Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
Finland as a market
The Finnish market is relatively small, there are only 5.5 million inhabitants in Finland, and the population is ageing. There are 286 042 enterprises in Finland (Statistics Finland 2018), of which 93 per cent are enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. So Finland is a country of small businesses.
Finland differs from other Nordic countries mainly due to its language. Finnish is a language belonging to the group of the Uralic language of the Finnic branch. 4.8 million speak Finnish as their mother language and 0.5 million as their second language. It’s also considered very difficult to learn.
It’s especially interesting for the web hosting industry that Finland has an internet penetration rate among the highest in the world, it’s even 92.5 per cent. The use of the internet is widespread among all age groups.
Why one.com acquired Zoner?
One of the main reasons is certainly the desire to expand to a new market – Finland. Since February 2019, when the private equity fund Cinven acquired the majority of one.com, the company has focused to become the leader in Northern Europe. Based on this, it was certainly logical to acquire a Finnish company through which expansion into the Finnish market will be successful.
Expanding into new markets can often be easier through an existing company. Otherwise, it would require intensive research into a new market, significant investment, and yet there would be no guarantees that new markets would bring customers. It could be said that it’s often easier to conquer a new market with an existing company that already has an existing customer base.
Strong business growth
Zoner has grown strongly over the past year, by more than 50 per cent according to Toni Claren, CEO of Zoner. Growth has been going for a longer time, but especially the last year has been rapid growth. Growing companies are always interesting, also in terms of acquisitions. In the best case, the buyer can help accelerate the growth of the business.
There are already 17,000 customers, mainly from Finland, and most of them are small businesses. Zoner says it’s especially known for its good customer service and fast servers. According to the press release the core values of Zoner also align with the group.ONE: the customer is at the heart of the whole business.
Importance of WordPress hosting
Today WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. The platform holds a 63 per cent market share for content management systems on the website and it powers 38 per cent of all websites. The popularity of WordPress is likely to grow in the next few years thanks to active development and a large community.
There are currently no challengers to take on WordPress, as the popularity of the next two most popular content management systems, Drupal and Joomla, has started to decline. On the other hand, various easy tools for building a website or e-commerce have steadily increased in popularity in recent years, although their popularity is still quite marginal.
WordPress hosting is a type of web hosting which is specifically designed and optimized for WordPress websites. WordPress hosting provides the best possible performance and speed for the website. In many cases, they also include other useful features such as automatic updates and easy one-click installation.
Zoner has a strong focus on WordPress hosting including premium services built around the particular ecosystem. According to their statement, in 2018, about 65 percent of their customers used WordPress, in 2020 the figure was already closer to 90 percent.