Home Business Could this exit strengthen Bulgaria’s position as an e-commerce hub in Southeast Europe?

Could this exit strengthen Bulgaria’s position as an e-commerce hub in Southeast Europe?

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In an unexpectedly large deal, leading Bulgarian hosting provider SuperHosting joins Belgian blue.team, a group of more than 30 brands, present in 10 markets across Europe and serving more than 2 million customers.

“The arrival of a strategic investor for the sector, team.blue, positions Bulgaria as a regional hub for hosting services and e-commerce,” comments Metodi Drenovski, co-founder of SuperHosting. Last year, the Bulgarian player began its geographic expansion by opening an office in Serbia.

The agreement

Registered only a year ago after the merger of three European hosting companies, the Belgian company team.blue has just announced the acquisition of Bulgaria’s largest digital service provider, SuperHosting.bg. The Bulgarian company brings around 40% of the local market share and will help team.blue expand its presence in the region. SuperHosting will continue to operate under the same brand and management and continue to pursue the founders’ vision of making Bulgaria a digital commerce hub.

“It was very important for us to find a partner with the same entrepreneurial spirit as SuperHosting. I am happy that we found such a partner in team.blue, which is still led by its founder today. We are therefore very happy to continue to develop our activity, now supported by the team.blue group,” comment the founders of SuperHosting in an official press release.

SEE the hub for online business

“It is important that they choose to trust local management and support our current vision for business development. We have always had serious plans to develop our activities in South-Eastern Europe, and team.blue has the resources to support us in this direction,” comments co-founder Metodi Drenovski. After Serbia, SuperHosting also plans to open its operations in other Balkan countries.

Superhosting was launched in 2005 and has grown to its current second position in the market organically and through acquisitions, the latest being Host.bg, acquired from local digital company Netinfo in 2017. It has experienced strong growth in recent years, mainly organically, but also through Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2017, it acquired Host.bg, another popular web host in Bulgaria. SuperHosting specializes in professional web hosting, domains and VPS services.

“We will now fully support them as they continue to execute their growth plan in the CEE region,” Jonas Dhaenens, CEO of team.blue, said in an official statement.

Low digitalization – big opportunity?

Hosting is one of the verticals that should have grown during the pandemic given that many businesses started boosting their web presence and communicating with their customers online. However, this does not change the fact that Bulgaria is at the forefront of the EU in integrating digital technology into the business sector. This is what the last Digital Economy and Society Index Report 2020 watch. Romania and Greece are the other two countries where the integration of digital technology in businesses is relatively low.

Bulgaria ranks 28th among EU countries in digital technology integration, well below the EU average. Bulgarian businesses struggle to take advantage of the opportunities offered by e-commerce: only 7% of SMEs sell online (18% of the EU average), 3% of total SMEs sell abroad and only 2% of their revenue comes from the online segment. .

The question here is whether this low digitization of the sector actually represents a growth opportunity for hosting and digital services companies, and what would make the country an e-commerce hub. And above all, could SuperHosting and team.blue really grow and innovate so quickly that, from last on the list, Bulgaria becomes the desired SEE hub?

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