In the span of a few days, Swedish Internet company Spray became one of the leading ISPs in Sweden by buying two companies, acquiring 66.8 percent in both BIP Bottnia Internet Provider AB and the small ISP SBBS2.
BIP Bottnia Internet Provider, one of the smallest companies traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange market, is running out of cash after a slow start in garnering revenue. With a revenue of only SEK 2 million (US $240,000) in the last 9 months and debt of several million SEK, this company would not survive by its own.
BIP gives away free Internet connections through its own proprietary client system, Infotizer. When a user registers, BIP can control what kind of advertising is pushed to each user.
BIP has about 225,000 users, while Spray has their own free connection service with 40,000 users.
Spray previously acquired SBBS2 Europe AB’s ISP service, which claims 70,000 users.
Altogether, Spray will have about 335,000 users connected to the Internet, nearing the goal of 500,000 users by end of the year.
With Spray as the main owner, BIP is certain to expand in the future. The synergy effect is obvious and very positive for BIP, says Nicholas Hogberg, president of BIP.
Spray plans to stick with the free ISP model that is sweeping through Europe. If the user has to pay phone fees, the trend is for companies to offer free homepages and e-mail addresses, plus other services. Spray is moving fast in this direction and has tripled its number of customers this year.
Spray also has a stake in Razorfish and is its partner in Sweden.