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j2 Global Acquires SugarSync

Updated September 1, 2016 to reflect additional recent j2 acquisitions.

j2 Global Continues Acquisition Streak with Purchase of Online Backup & File Sharing Service SugarSync

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j2 Global, primarily know for their brands Ziff Davis and eFax, has been expanding its cloud backup business, and this March the company purchased the popular cloud file sharing, file sync, and online backup services company SugarSync.

j2 already has a significant presence in the cloud services and digital media field, with past purchases in cloud services divisions including Internet fax, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, and unified communications. The company’s purchase of SugarSync adds to j2 Global’s cloud back portfolio of LiveDrive and KeepItSafe and could signal more acquisitions in this space. The company’s Mergers and Acquisitions page specifically names online data backup, voice services, email and email marketing, Internet based fax solutions and digital publishing as prime targets. The page also notes interest in collaboration, document management/ archiving, domain registration and web hosting.

j2 has been buying companies at an accelerated pace in recent years. Here is a complete history of j2’s acquisitions (list updated September of 2016):

  • MaxEmail, August 2016
  • SMTP email marketing, 2nd quarter 2016
  • Game Trailers, 2nd quarter 2016
  • Publicaster, 2nd quarter 2016
  • Electronic Vaulting Services, 2nd quarter 2016
  • Safebackup, 2nd quarter 2016
  • 24sevenbackup, 2nd quarter 2016
  • VaultLogix, 1st quarter 2016
  • Callstream, 1st quarter 2016
  • Yotta280, 1st quarter 2016
  • Mailout Interactive, 1st quarter 2016
  • GDV server backup assets, 1st quarter 2016
  • Backup Solutions server backup assets, 1st quarter 2016
  • Offers.com, January 2016
  • SugarSync, March 2015
  • Nuvotera, February 2015
  • UnityFax, February 2015
  • Firstway (distributor for FaxBox), February 2015
  • Excel Micro, October 2014
  • Web24 Group, September 2014
  • MXSweep, August 2014
  • City Numbers, February 2014
  • LiveDrive, February 2014
  • NetShelter (which owned AndroidCentral.com, MacRumors.com, Neoseeker.com, SlashGear.com and TechSpot.com), May 2013
  • MetroFax, March 2013
  • IGN Entertainment (which owned 1UP.com, UGO.com and AskMen.com), February 2013
  • Ziff Davis (which owned PCMag.com, ComputerShopper, ExtremeTech, Toolbox.com and Geek.com), November 2012
  • MyFax (which had already absorbed Packetel), My1Voice and Campaigner (all were subsidiaries of Canadian company Protus) December 2010
  • KeepItSafe, October 2010
  • FuseMail, May 2010
  • TrustFax (which had already absorbed FAXaFILE), February 2010
  • CallWave, February 2009
  • RapidFax, December 2007
  • Send2Fax, July 2006
  • Fax.com (which had already absorbed FaxMicro, OneFax and 101Fax) and SmartFax, July 2005
  • OneBox, August 2004
  • eFax, April 2000 (j2 Global was then operating under the name JFax)

In its brief press release, j2 did not make a statement about what its purchase might mean for current SugarSync customers, but so far SugarSync’s customers have not been posting complaints. SugarSync release a new desktop app in March, and customers have responded well to that, as well as praising prompt technical support, on the company’s Twitter feed.

However, some SugarSync employees have been less than thrilled with changes in the company post-acquisition, complaining that there have been significant layoffs in the engineering, product, and operations teams. When j2 has purchased purchased online fax companies, customer complaints have skyrocketed around issues of billing and service. Whether or not that pattern will continue with SugarSync remains to be seen.