Last week, one of our competitors was purchased for $213 million. The buyer: j2Global (the parent company of eFax).
Portus IP Solutions’ had $72 million of revenue per year and 81% of that revenue came from online faxing. With the purchase, j2Global now owns 44% of the online faxing market (LA Business Journal).
When Protus stood up to eFax, we also benefited. In 2009, eFax claimed exclusive use of the word “eFax” – even though its a generic term. Protus challenged them in court and won. If they had lost, it would have been like Ford owning the trademark for “car” or “automobile”. There are no major competitors left to eFax (see my previous post on eFax’s customer service).
On the other hand, this purchase represents major market validation. Online faxing still provides tremendous value to individuals and small businesses. In fact, it’s projected to grow 15.5% and 11.1% for businesses and individuals (Davidson Consulting).
Protus doesn’t do anything spectacular. They don’t revolutionize online faxing, legal documents, signatures or the transfer of important documents. Yet, they still managed to have huge revenue and a significant purchase price. That’s good news for us, as we have some technology in the works which add significantly more value to the faxing and legal document space.