Anyone interested in buying, selling, or investing in an online business should know about Flippa.com, a Melbourne, Australia-based, global online marketplace that’s democratizing and streamlining the process of buying online sites, stores, and apps. A couple of things to remember are that many of the most successful businesses hit the gas or were formed during recessions, secondly, there may be a wave of available talent as the tech giants realize that they can run their businesses on 20-40 percent less people. Even since this topic was brought up by Jason Calacanis during the All In podcast additional layoff rumors have surfaced related to Twitter. So, you might have a lot of available talent.
I caught up with Blake Hutchison, Flippa’s CEO, to talk about the current state of online business buying and selling and how the Flippa platform works. As Blake notes, “the easiest way to think about it is, if you’ve got a good-quality Shopify business, there is a buyer for it. If you have a good quality blog, there’s a buyer for it. Similarly, for SaaS or apps. So those individuals who are out there who own something, and have always thought ‘I wonder what it’s worth?,’ Flippa can quickly evaluate that for you.”
We also discuss how and whether the pandemic, and the uncertain economic times the world currently finds itself in have affected valuations of businesses listed on Flippa.com. Interestingly, Blake reports that the asset classes on Flippa haven’t seen any real dip. “Clearly, there is some sentiment among people that certain segments might not be as exciting as they once were; if you take all of the groundswell that the pandemic gave to e-commerce, some of that has dissipated slightly, but let’s face it, we’re very early on in the e-commerce lifecycle; we’re very early on in the SaaS cycle… For the most part, we still see good-quality, cash flow-generating businesses in the marketplace and I suppose therefore my perspective is that in our industry, it’s not gloom and doom.”
One pressing question I wanted to ask Blake pertains to the extent to which emotional dynamics influence the business sales process, and the degree to which those mediating and managing this process often must act as “therapists.”
In the complete interview below, Blake and I discuss a new feature recently added to the Flippa platform allowing individual investors to take stakes in online businesses without having to acquire and operate them, how Flippa is using content marketing to highlight business acquisition success stories in order to interest more users in the platform, how Flippa addresses concerns that sellers have that by listing their businesses they’ll attract “tire kickers,” not serious buyers, the degree to which auctions are used on Flippa, future plans by Flippa to include sector benchmarks in its databases, and other issues germane to the buying and selling of online businesses and digital assets.