Denver’s Indaba sold for $2 million

A California firm is buying an e-commerce startup in RiNo, with the latter’s employees staying put.

Ryan Shields, Indaba's CEO

Ryan Shields, Indaba’s CEO

Santa Barbara-based Warp 9 will purchase online storefront builder Indaba by the end of September. The two companies will combine their web retail services to create Indaba Group, a Denver-based subsidiary with an office in California.

“There are a lot of complementary services and technologies that Warp 9 offers, and we’re going to inherit some of their customers as well,” said Ryan Shields, CEO at Indaba.

Warp 9 will pay $2 million to acquire Indaba, according to a SEC filing.

Founded in 2011 with three employees, Indaba designs web and mobile sites for more than 40 retailers. Its clients have included Dish Network, Boulder-based Fresh Produce Sportswear and a guitar store in Oregon that now sells its products online. Shields said he expects increased marketing to grow the company’s customer base after the acquisition.

Indaba, based at 2854 Larimer St., employs about 30 people in Denver and the U.K. Shields said the acquisition will let the company hire more people, and open a sales and account-management office on the East Coast.

“We will probably hire about 25 percent more people by the end of this year, and would love to double (our staff) by the end of next year,” he said.

Warp 9, a 17-year-old company with 10 employees, also offers web and mobile site development in addition to cloud and security services. Andrew Van Noy, Warp 9’s CEO, said the company first approached Indaba about an acquisition in 2013.

“It wasn’t right for either of us at the time, but in March of this year, we approached the idea again,” Van Noy said.

“Their leadership is exactly what we’re looking to have for the growth of our combined companies.”

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