Small Business Trends

Liquid Web Celebrates 25 Years of Helping Businesses Grow Online

Liquid Web Celebrates 25 Years of Helping
Liquid Web, the market leader in cloud hosting and software solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), celebrates 25 years of helping businesses grow online.
Over the past quarter century, Liquid Web has grown into a Family of Brands delivering technology, services, and support for thriving businesses and nonprofits running mission-critical websites, eCommerce stores, and applications. Liquid Web (High Performance Managed Hosting), Nexcess (Digital Commerce Cloud), StellarWP (WordPress Software and Tools), and Modern Tribe (Enterprise WordPress Agency) have more than 500,000+ sites under management and support over 175,000 software subscribers and 2.5 Million+ free version software users. The company was founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill, who passed away unexpectedly on July 13, 2022. He was in high school when he founded Liquid Web in Holt, Michigan. For 18 years, before he sold in 2015, with the help of his family and friends, he built the foundation for what the company is today.

In 2015, Madison Dearborn and the management team (Jim Geiger (CEO), Joe Oesterling (CTO), and Carrie Wheeler (COO)) invested in Liquid Web. The new leadership team set a vision to build a platform to enable small businesses - and the creators who build sites and stores for them - to make money online. The strategy was developed to innovate products and services that address market trends toward simplification and deliver the best experience in hosting - to become the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®.

"All of our efforts and strategies are focused on helping small businesses make money online,"We've coined the phrase "Web-Dependent SMBs" because, for our customers, their online presence is their business. They are not "setting and forgetting" their website; it's not brochureware, it's not a hobby. Our platform(s) power their online commerce and therefore, their livelihood"

 Jim Geiger, CEO

In the last 7 years, Liquid Web invested heavily in product development, sales, and marketing and expanded platform and support capabilities by adding Managed WordPress (2016); Premium Business Email (2017); the industry's first Managed WooCommerce Hosting (2018); Protection and Remediation Services (2018); VMware Private Cloud (2019); CloudFlare (2019); Acronis Cyber Backups (2020); Managed Cloud Servers (2020); VMware Private Cloud Multi-Tenant (2020); and Threat Stack (2021).The Liquid Web Family of Brands has also strategically grown its presence in the WordPress space by adding software companies like iThemes (2018), Restrict Content Pro (2020), The Events Calendar (2021), Iconic (2021), KadenceWP (2021), GiveWP (2021), LearnDash (2021), and Modern Tribe (2021) to our portfolio. In addition, a new arm of our business was introduced to serve as the umbrella brand for all WordPress software offerings: StellarWP. The company has honed a strategic focus around open source software and platforms and the flexibility and ownership those provide for online site and store owners. Because the customers they attract are largely within the WordPress ecosystem – the world's most dominant content and commerce management system powering over 43% of all online properties on the Internet today – the company has a commitment to fostering ongoing innovation with new features, curated solutions, and tools to help customers realize the power that open source provides. In 2021, the company launched the first SaaS-like customer experience for buying, building, and managing an online store with a product called StoreBuilder, and in 2022, launched LearnDash Cloud. These products integrate hosting and curate a number of the company's owned software solutions to innovate online commerce solutions on WordPress. "We continue to believe that we can lead in providing simplified, highly performant, secure, curated solutions to accelerate SMBs and creators getting, staying, and growing online. Our North Star, our strategic vision, is to continue to simplify online commerce – in all its forms – for new and existing online merchants by leveraging open source solutions riding on our infrastructure, our software assets, our industry expertise, and our world-class technical support," said Geiger. "We celebrate this anniversary with great pride and appreciation for our customers who trust us with their business and our employees, the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting® who make us stand out as an industry leader. As we look ahead to our future, we understand the responsibility we have to the businesses we support and will continue to focus on our purpose of helping SMBs and their creators make money online."

About Liquid Web
Building on 25 years of success, our Liquid Web Family of Brands delivers software, solutions, and managed services for mission-critical sites, stores, and applications to SMBs and the designers, developers, and agencies who create for them.  Liquid Web (Managed Hosting), Nexcess (Digital Commerce Cloud), and StellarWP (WordPress Software and Tools) have more than 500,000+ sites under management, over 175,000 software subscribers, and 2 million+ free version software users. Collectively, the companies have assembled a world-class team of industry experts, provide unparalleled service from solution engineers available 24/7/365, and own and manage ten global data centers. As an industry leader in customer service, the rapidly expanding brand family has been recognized among INC. Magazine's 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies for 12 years. Learn more about the Liquid Web Family of Brands.


Other News

Fingercheck Strengthens Small Business Processes at IncredibleBank

Fingercheck | October 12, 2023

Fingercheck, a prominent automated payroll and HR solutions provider has recently unveiled a strategic partnership with IncredibleBank to fundamentally transform the landscape for small businesses. Through this collaborative effort, Fingercheck is poised to grant small businesses seamless access to its leading platform, offering invaluable guidance throughout their growth journey. This partnership introduces modern payroll and HR solutions for business owners, including the introduction of 'Pay On-Demand,' a product that offers earned wage access for improved financial flexibility. As a strategic ally of IncredibleBank, Fingercheck occupies a unique position in enhancing the payroll, HR, and employee management processes for IncredibleBank's small business clientele. Leveraging its extensive experience in servicing over 5,000 businesses, Fingercheck brings to the table a wealth of knowledge as a mature fintech company, providing an intuitive user interface and robust functionality. The Fingercheck-IncredibleBank partnership represents a significant milestone in reshaping the financial services landscape for small businesses. By pooling their expertise, these two industry leaders are charting the course for a new era marked by seamless and efficient payroll, HR, and banking solutions that are tailored to the unique demands of small and medium-sized businesses. About Fingercheck Fingercheck is a leading firm at the forefront of providing payroll and HR solutions, with a core mission of simplifying the lives of small business owners. The company alleviates the stress and time-consuming tasks associated with payroll and HR management, including tax compliance. Leveraging advanced AI and automation technology, Fingercheck streamlines processes, saving valuable time and resources so that small businesses can direct their energies toward growth. Furthermore, the company's team is dedicated to delivering top-tier support, taking the time to comprehend each business's unique needs and providing tailored solutions to expedite internal processes, making them both efficient and precise. About IncredibleBank IncredibleBank, initially established in 1967 as River Valley Bank with a single location in Rothschild, WI, has since expanded to 15 locations across Wisconsin and Michigan, with a new branch set to open in Florida in 2023. The bank has deep roots in community banking and has been recognized as one of America's Most Innovative Banks by the Independent Community Bankers of America. IncredibleBank is committed to staying at the forefront of banking technology, with the primary goal of offering the best and simplest banking experience for customers nationwide.

Read More


Extu Launches GoTu Rewards, a Flexible, Affordable Incentive Platform to Drive Loyalty

PR Newswire | October 31, 2023

Extu announced GoTu Rewards, a fast to launch, flexible and affordable new incentive platform designed for companies of all sizes that want to initiate a basic loyalty program on a modest budget. GoTu Rewards is notable for its ease of use and exciting reward catalog featuring millions of options. "Midmarket and SMB companies are frequently looking for programs to incentivize their sales teams, employees, resellers and consumers—yet many programs are too expensive and difficult to manage," said Extu's CEO Steve Prebble. "Recognizing this need, we've created the ideal solution with GoTu Rewards, a platform that takes the worry and work out of incentive programs." With no monthly fees, GoTu Rewards' pay-as-you-go structure allows companies to purchase points or physical gift cards in bulk to deliver to their participants as needed. It reduces the administrative burden while offering a vast array of appealing rewards that keep participants engaged and earning. GoTu Rewards also provides companies with peace of mind by meeting Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 compliance requirements to ensure that sensitive corporate and participant data is safe. William Lupo, Extu's Chief Revenue Officer, explained, "GoTu Rewards offers a back-to-basics program for companies or teams that want to be able to award people quickly and easily for a job well done. It's a high reward but low cost option with great perks for participants that are sure to spark motivation and drive revenue." Prebble concluded, "Safety, speed and rewards that resonate are the hallmarks of GoTu Rewards—making it a perfect fit for companies that are looking to launch quickly and drive loyalty across their employee or sales networks." About Extu Extu, formerly known as Incentive Solutions and OneAffiniti, is on a mission to inspire growth. Extu provides through-channel marketing automation, an innovative online rewards platform, with millions of exciting online rewards, prepaid and gift card incentives, as well as group travel incentives. Our solutions are built to help manufacturers and dealers increase sales, capture mindshare, build customer loyalty and improve data collection throughout their channels. Founded in 1994, Extu incorporates powerful technology with real-time data, helping clients get a full view of reseller performance, and empowering channel marketers and driving growth.

Read More


Carver's Microloan Program Paves the Path for NYC's Small Businesses

Carver Federal Savings Bank | September 25, 2023

Carver Federal Savings Bank, a certified Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is driving economic empowerment for small businesses in New York City through its innovative microloan program. This program plays a crucial role in facilitating entrepreneurs' access to capital for business expansion in the post-pandemic era. Carver employs algorithm-based software, transcending the limitations historically imposed by traditional credit scores, which have hindered the borrowing eligibility and capacity of black and brown entrepreneurs. The ongoing challenges small businesses face in Carver's community persistently weigh them down amidst economic headwinds. Notably, 41% of small businesses owned by black and brown entrepreneurs have either shuttered or are on the brink of closure due to the financial hardships stemming from the pandemic. Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that approximately 45 million adults in the United States lack traditional credit scores. Carver's microloan program fills a crucial void by providing essential capital ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small business entrepreneurs. This initiative addresses the longstanding challenges associated with securing small-dollar loans and capital in Carver's communities. The bank's dedicated efforts are yielding tangible results, invigorating local economic activity. Michael T. Pugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carver Federal Savings Bank, said: "Carver's mission is to provide access to capital and to be champions for the underserved community in New York City." [Source – Cision PR Newswire] He mentioned that their microloan program represented an opportunity for them to assist small businesses in recovering from the pandemic and economic downturns while working towards a prosperous future. Pugh further expressed gratitude to Charter Communications, Webster Bank, UBS, M&T Bank, and all their partners who had played a crucial role in the successful launch of their new microloan program. About Carver Bancorp, Inc. Carver Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, a renowned federally chartered stock savings bank. Headquartered in Harlem, New York, the company was established in 1948 with the mission to serve African-American communities where businesses, residents, and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services. Recognized by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Carver stands out for its community-centric banking services and unwavering commitment to enhancing the economic vitality and revitalization of its local community. The company holds the distinction of being one of the largest African- and Caribbean-American-managed banks in the United States.

Read More


Fintech Leaders Camino Financial and Fundation Merge to Form Full Spectrum Small Business Lender

PR Newswire | October 04, 2023

Camino Financial and Fundation will combine to create a new, full spectrum SMB lender providing credit solutions to fund the growth of small businesses. Camino Financial, a community-driven lender offering credit solutions to overlooked or minority-owned businesses is acquiring Fundation, a premiere, tech-enabled lender to small-and-mid-sized businesses ("SMBs") and specialist in bank channel partnerships. LL Funds, a Philadelphia-based private equity, direct lending, and asset-backed securities investment firm, led the deal and will be the financial sponsor of the company during its next phase of growth. Shivraj Mundy and Putnam Coes, both Partners at LL Funds and current Camino directors, will continue as Directors of the combined company, with Shivraj Mundy serving as Chairman of the Board. Community Investment Management ("CIM"), a leading impact investment firm and funding partner to both Camino Financial and Fundation, played a pivotal role in facilitating the merger. "The small business lending space represents a vast opportunity to serve a critical but underrepresented section of the U.S. economy. With $250 million of combined equity and debt capital, the combination of Camino and Fundation is ideally positioned to provide a broad set of credit solutions to serve this segment," Shivraj Mundy, LL Funds. "In an environment of tightening financial conditions and higher interest rates, innovating better solutions for small businesses is essential for US economic growth and employment. The talents of the combined company and the ongoing commitment of its partners Community Investment Management and BankUnited will accelerate this progress." Putnam Coes, LL Funds. "As long-term capital providers to both Camino and Fundation, CIM is pleased to have worked closely with LL Funds to enable this transaction and the continued progress in SMB lending the combined company will lead." Jacob Haar, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CIM. The merger brings together two strong leaders in their respective market segments to address the pressing need for accessible and inclusive financing solutions for small businesses. Both firms have been pursuing this mission independently for over 10 years, collectively funding tens of thousands of small businesses and growing rapidly post-Covid. The Company will offer best-in-class lending solutions and will be one of the few independent, full-spectrum, multi-channel financing providers in the SMB space. "I want to thank LL Funds and CIM for giving us an opportunity to build upon our current business models to responsibly serve small business owners. Beyond the synergies of channels, products and customer operations, the merger of Fundation with Camino will set the stage for innovating in the credit ecosystem. I could not be more excited to work with all our stakeholders towards creating substantial value for the small business community." Sandip Nayak, President & Founding Member of Fundation, LLC. Mickey Konson will become CEO of the combined entity and join the Board of Directors. Konson brings over 25 years of experience in finance, technology, and small business lending. Previously, he served as a senior executive at Capital One, and co-founded SMB lender and SAAS platform StreetShares Inc., which was acquired in 2022 by Meridian Link. More recently, he was a Senior Advisor at 2nd Order Solutions, where he consulted globally with Banks and FinTech companies. About Camino Financial Camino Financial is a leading community-driven fintech company dedicated to providing affordable credit and wealth building solutions. With a mission to promote financial inclusion, Camino Financial is a government certified Community Development Financial Institution ("CDFI"), offering innovative financing solutions designed to support the success of overlooked entrepreneurs and minority-owned small businesses. About Fundation, LLC Fundation, LLC is a leading tech-enabled SMB lender specializing in digital lending solutions for small businesses. They collaborate with over 25 financial institutions, helping them access digital lending capabilities and provide cost-efficient, customer-focused services tailored to the unique needs of small businesses. About LL Funds Founded in 2009, LL Funds makes opportunistic investments in asset-backed securities ("ABS") and the companies that originate them. Based in Philadelphia, PA, the company manages approximately $2.3 billion for institutional and individual investors.

Read More