Today, we announced the news that Yoast is joining Newfold Digital. Wow! The news is finally out! I am so very excited for this next step in the Yoast rollercoaster. In this blog post, I share some of my personal thoughts and considerations on why we decided to join Newfold Digital. 

Growing a business is both fun, but also challenging 

Joost and I have been leading and growing Yoast for a rather long time now. Joost founded Yoast in 2010. I was always involved, but really jumped into the business in 2013. It has been a crazy ride. Coming up with new ideas, trying them out, seeing that people liked our ideas. Noticing that people actually like your products. It has been amazing! I enjoyed it so much!

But, at times, growing a business is challenging as well. With 140 employees, the Covid pandemic was one of the scariest things I had to endure as an entrepreneur. Our company was pretty vulnerable. We never had any funding, we’re totally bootstrapped. What’ll happen if people stop buying our product all of a sudden? What will happen if the exchange rate of the dollar drops? That could have large consequences. Our expenses are in Euros, but we mostly make money in dollars. I worried a lot. I worried too much.

Joost and I made a decision at the beginning of this year. We didn’t want to fly solo anymore. We decided to look for a partner. We decided to sell Yoast.

Our quest for the right company

In the process of seeking a bigger company to join and to sell our stocks to, I was motivated by three things. First, I wanted to find a good fit for Joost and me. We are motivated to stay and work at Yoast, so we wanted to work for a company that felt like a place we would like to work ourselves. Second, I wanted to find a good fit for all of our employees. I love team Yoast. They are all kind of my family. I needed to make sure that they could all stay on board. And third, I wanted to make sure that we made a deal that would be beneficial to WordPress. Yoast contributes a lot to WordPress, which is important to all of us at team Yoast. I wanted to make sure that we would be able to continue doing just that.  

Our choice for Newfold Digital

One of the main reasons Newfold wanted to acquire Yoast was because of our commitment to WordPress. It was because of our employees, because of our people. The conversations with the board of Newfold were honest, fun, and inspiring. They have acquired us for all the right reasons. We got so many good ideas just by talking to them. For me personally, the fact that their board consists of a majority of women was really important. That really made them stand out from all of the other WordPress companies. I feel that our legacy, our plugin, and our wonderful colleagues are in the best hands at Newfold. I am looking forward to working with and learning from their team.

What will change?

For me personally, a lot will change. I am already feeling relieved. I feel more secure. And, I will have more time and freedom to come up with new products and marketing ideas. I don’t have to worry anymore. I am excited to lead our team and make it part of the Newfold Digital family of brands. I am excited to learn and to collaborate with colleagues all over the world. A whole new chapter in my life is beginning.

And, all the important things stay the same. Our offices stay in the same place. Our team stays the same. Our brand stays the same. Our products stay the same.  We just have so much more time and opportunity to improve our awesome products. We’ve joined forces with a big powerhouse that’ll help us grow!

Thank you!

I am happy and I am grateful. Grateful to Sharon Rowlands, the CEO of Newfold Digital and to all of the people at Newfold Digital for allowing us to join them and for believing in us. Grateful to all of the wonderful people that currently work at Yoast or worked at Yoast in the past. They’ve all done their part in growing our company. Thank you! Grateful to our works council that helped us in this process of finding the best party to join. But most of all, I am grateful to the board members of Yoast: Chaya, Thijs, Omar, and most of all to Joost. We did it!

Published by Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke is partner at Emilia Capital. She is an investor, an entrepeneur at heart and a marketeer. She has a PhD in social sciences and is the mother of four kids. Next to that, she's a feminist, a ballerina and a diet coke addict.

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