GoDaddy Buying American-Israeli Company Mad Mimi

The Arizona-based acquirer is losing money and hopes to beef up against new competitor Google.

Amitai Ziv
Amitai Ziv
Bar Refaeli and Jesse Heiman in a screen grab from's commercial.
Bar Refaeli and Jesse Heiman in a screen grab from's commercial.
Amitai Ziv
Amitai Ziv

Web hosting giant GoDaddy is buying Mad Mimi, a startup with Israeli roots, the companies said last week, but did not give a purchase price.

Analysts estimate the price in the tens of millions of dollars, at least.

Mad Mimi, based in Brooklyn, was founded in 2008 by Gary Levitt, an immigrant to Israel from South Africa. The company develops tools for designing and sending newsletters and other mass mailings, and competes with newsletter giant MailChimp.

GoDaddy was founded in 2007. It offers domain name registration and hosting services for websites, and has about 4,000 employees. In Israel, the company is well known for its 2013 Super Bowl commercial starring model Bar Refaeli French-kissing a stereotypical nerd.

But not all has gone well for GoDaddy. In June the company filed to raise $100 million, and the forms show that the company has not been profitable since 2009. It lost $279 million in 2012, $200 million in 2013 and $51 million in the first quarter of 2014.

GoDaddy’s turnover tops $1 billion a year.

Google has started competing with GoDaddy’s main service, domain registration, with its product Google Domains. The service is in a trial stage and is open only via invitation, similar to Gmail in its early days.

Mad Mimi’s customers include Air Canada, AOL, Disney, Facebook and Kellogg’s. Most of Mad Mimi’s 250,000 customers are registered for its free service.

Under the acquisition terms, Mad Mimi’s mail tools will be available to GoDaddy customers, replacing GoDaddy’s current email options. The Mad Mimi brand will continue to exist.

Mad Mimi was founded with nearly no capital. It took in $110,000 in the seed-capital stage, so Levitt will be receiving most of the money in the GoDaddy deal.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

Rep. Henry Cuellar attends a campaign event on Wednesday, in San Antonio, Texas.

AIPAC-backed Dem Declares Victory Against Progressive Challenger in Texas Runoff

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami at an event for Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran, last month.

Prospects for Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal 'Tenuous' at Best, U.S. Envoy Says

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff