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WebSell Case Study

WebSell Case Study


WebSell is a global leader in providing comprehensive e-commerce solutions for small-to-medium and enterprise-level merchants. Based in Cork, Ireland, WebSell (formerly known as NitroSell) creates online stores that are built directly from point-of-sale (POS) systems. They enable brick-and-mortar retailers to sell online through their all-in-one e-commerce platform. WebSell found their fit in Volaris Group’s Retail portfolio in July 2021 and will continue to operate under the leadership of Donogh Roche who started at WebSell as a software engineer when the company was founded in 2005. Roche was appointed as the CEO of WebSell by the board of directors in 2019 after working in various roles at the company over the years.

Decision to Sell

While searching for a new home for the business, Roche maintained a long-term outlook on the future of WebSell. He wanted to ensure that the employees who have been with the business for a long time had ample career growth and development opportunities. He also wanted to preserve the legacy of the company and felt that Volaris Group shared his long-term vision. The ‘buy-and- hold forever’ philosophy of Volaris was very attractive to Roche when considering an acquirer to support these goals. Because WebSell’s company structure and operations would remain in-tact, it made Volaris Group the perfect fit for the business. In addition, Volaris’ decentralized business strategy allows the leadership team to manage the company autonomously, which is a significant advantage over traditional private equity and strategic buyers. The access to a global network of Volaris businesses and the financial backing of a public parent company (CSI), provided exactly what Roche was looking for to support the company’s future.

Upon joining Volaris Group, WebSell would have the opportunity to work alongside an existing company within the portfolio, Windward, an ERP software provider. The synergies between the businesses created a cross-selling opportunity which could effectively promote growth for both companies. With WebSell’s e-commerce software and Windward’s established network of customers operating from their POS/ERP system, the strategic opportunity was undeniable. Roche and his team had the opportunity to connect with Windward’s General Manager before the acquisition and gained a lot of first-hand insights and perspectives on the process which was valuable in finalizing their decision.

Post-Acquisition Success

After the acquisition, the company planned to rename the business from NitroSell to WebSell. Roche explains that the rebranding had been planned prior to an acquisition, but felt it was best for the company to wait to launch the new brand until after integrations were complete. Moving away from the NitroSell name, the company wanted to present a more intuitive connection between the business name and an e-commerce product. Volaris helped Roche and his team through the diligence of the rebrand, which allowed for a smooth and successful transition. The switch from NitroSell to WebSell came with the addition of a new company mascot which revived the energy in the company and brought excitement to the staff.

As a CEO who worked with minimal leadership and oversight prior to the acquisition, Roche is seeing the benefits of Volaris’ global network; being a part of Volaris Group means that software leaders are never alone. Roche explains how working alongside a team of leaders throughout integrations was critical to their success. The WebSell team has appreciated the availability of Volaris resources including the Finance, Legal, HR, and IT departments.

Volaris provides extensive resources and best practices to support the company’s operations. Having a smaller team at WebSell, being able to lean on other Volaris business units for additional help and advice has been useful. Roche has found great value in the implementation of advanced financial planning disciplines and sales forecasting, allowing the team to not just foresee, but also work towards future objectives. For example, WebSell was able to evaluate aspects of the business, including pricing levels, and implemented strategies that resulted in a significant uptick in revenues. Financial resources have also aided in resolving compliance concerns and improving data reporting. Volaris’ legal team supported WebSell during the acquisition process and has remained a well-used resource for other business needs such as writing consulting contracts and customer agreements. In terms of recruitment, Roche has been thankful to have the human resources team to provide a pool of screened candidates to interview, which helps expedite the hiring process and bring in new talent more quickly.

It's very nice to have such a large cohort of software companies together. You are not competitors, so everyone is going in the same direction, working to succeed at both the company level and for Volaris as a whole. This presents an unusual set of wonderful opportunities.

- Donogh Roche, Managing Director

For WebSell employees, being a part of a large organization has opened new doors for talent development and career progression. Volaris actively fosters a culture of continuous learning where team members share knowledge and learn from each other’s expertise. We believe this is one of the most critical things we can do to support our global network of 10,000+ employees. After completing most of the acquisition process remotely, Roche appreciated the opportunity to meet Volaris leaders in person at the company’s training event, Volaris 101. This learning event brings together professionals from multiple verticals and functional areas to challenge attendees to understand various facets of running a software business. Roche looks to support the professional development of WebSell employees by encouraging them to attend networking events, learning summits, and expert sessions within the Volaris community.

As planned, the Windward team worked diligently to integrate WebSell’s solution into their POS/ERP system. The tie between the two businesses presents an advantage over competitors because WebSell’s e-commerce solution is more tightly integrated than any other e-commerce provider, which allows for better support to customers. The cross-selling opportunity for WebSell opened a large pool of customers for the company to target. After less than a year, the company has already sold the integration to at least ten mutual Windward customers. Although the retail market is everchanging, digitalization is a trend forecasted to continue. This will only increase the opportunities for WebSell and Windward to work together in the future.

After going through the acquisition process, Roche was able continue running the business autonomously while having the peace of mind about his professional future, describing it as “the best of both worlds.” He finds comfort in being able to run WebSell independently, knowing that Volaris Group is there to support the business for the long-term. In the future years, the WebSell team looks forward to working with Volaris to grow their market share across new POS systems and geographies and continue growing in the e-commerce industry.