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Swisscom buys majority stake in Innovative Web Group

Swisscom has snaffled a majority stake in Zurich-based Innovative Web Group. Financial details were not disclosed but the Swiss incumbent said the acquisition will "expand its competencies" in web and e-government solutions for public administrations and community‑based organisations.

In particular, maintained Swisscom, the group's web expertise will help strengthen "Localcities," an online platform handled by fully owned subsidiary Swisscom Directories. Localcities is targeted at Swiss communities and associations.

"Swisscom Directories already offers standardised web solutions for communities and associations under the Localcities brand," remarked Stefano Santinelli, CEO of Swisscom Directories.

Build it up: Takeover of web specialist aimed at strengthening Swiss incumbent's 'communities and associations' business area.   (Source: Unsplash)
Build it up: Takeover of web specialist aimed at strengthening Swiss incumbent’s "communities and associations" business area.
(Source: Unsplash)

"In association with Innovative Web, we will use technical modules in a mutually beneficial way and develop new, innovative solutions to meet almost every need of the 2,200 or so Swiss municipalities, irrespective of their size."

According to Swisscom Directories, the Localcities platform – launched in 2018 – provides citizens with "hyperlocal information," which, in turn, purportedly "makes everyday life easier and encourages residents to become involved in their communities and in associations."

The information and advice available on the platform typically revolve around official, economic, social and cultural life related to individual municipalities.

Hands off

Swisscom doesn't intend to shake things up at Innovative Web, which has around 50 employees. The group is to remain legally independent and the takeover, noted Swisscom, "will not result in any changes for customers and employees."

Steff Desan-Schnetzler, CEO of Innovative Web since 2000 when the company was founded, remains at the helm. Santinelli is the new chairman of the board, however.

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Desan-Schnetzler welcomed the terms of the takeover and enthused that Innovative Web's e‑government products "will now achieve an even wider distribution throughout Switzerland."

Innovative Web's self-styled aim is to enable public administrations to create what it calls "high-quality websites and web-based services" at low cost.

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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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