Exa Web Solutions collapses into liquidation after operating for 15 years

Productivity Commission recommends streamlining liquidations for small business and giving directors ID numbers to track potential phoenix activity

One of Australia’s largest digital services companies has collapsed into liquidation after operating for 15 years.

Melbourne technology firm Exa Web Solutions, which specialises in website development and digital marketing, called in liquidators earlier this week, according to The Herald Sun.

Exa Web Solutions was founded in 2000 and employs around 350 web developers and digital marketers, according to its website.

Around 60 of those employees are based in Australia and have lost their jobs as a result of the liquidation.

The remaining employees, based in India and Thailand, are not affected because the company’s overseas operations have not been placed in liquidation.

Exa Web Solutions’ clients reportedly include The Cheesecake Shop, Ingham, the University of New South Wales and National Australia Bank.

Liquidator Glen Kanevsky, partner at Deloitte Australia, told The Herald Sun he is contacting the business’s customers to advise them of his appointment.

“We will do whatever we can within the context of the liquidation to minimise service disruption for customers,” Kanevsky said.

“We are working with the director to develop strategies to extract as much value as possible from the intellectual property assets.”

WME offers to help customers and employees

Nick Bell, managing director of digital services company WME, told SmartCompany he will be offering Exa Web Solutions’ customers three months of free services in order to assist any businesses affected by the liquidation.

Bell decided to go ahead with this offer because he had an Exa Web Solutions client “break down in tears” with him over the phone yesterday.

“I feel sorry for the customers who’ve been left high and dry and the employees who’ve come in and been told they don’t have a job anymore,” Bell says.

“Exa has definitely got some talent, so we want them [the employees] to come in and have a chat with us if they’re suited for our environment. If they are, we’d love to work with them.”

Just last week Queensland website development company Graphics Online collapsed into liquidation, affecting approximately 600 clients, some of which are SMEs.

Bell says the digital services market is “definitely a competitive industry” at the moment, with many firms outsourcing work to countries like India.

SmartCompany contacted Deloitte Australia but did not receive a response prior to publication.