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You've moved on ... Now how do you sell your technology platform?

My heart has moved on to something else (it happens).

I have this solid responsive P2P e-commerce platform that deserves a second chance and would like to find the right buyer but have no idea where to start. Many of the online marketplaces I've come across deal with domain or gaming app sales. This is primarily a technology sale so the type of buyer I'm targeting is a niche publisher with an established user base/audience.

I want to hear from other entrepreneurs about their experience selling their platforms and any advice they wish they had before going in.

4 Replies

Lane Campbell
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Lane Campbell Advisor
Lifelong Entrepreneur
I am a business broker that helps companies in your situation find acquiring partners. I have also personally built and sold three companies in the last six years.

Happy to chat more with you if you want some guidance. Shoot me a private message.
Steven Rubenstein
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Steven Rubenstein Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur, Activist, Developer and soon Solver of all the World's Problems
One piece of advice -- your platform is worth a lot less than you paid for it. Regardless of how wonderful you think it is -- and it may very well be amazing -- without the original developer(s), it's just a bunch of code that someone else has to figure out.

The truth is that it is often cheaper, easier, faster and even safer to build from scratch than starting with some code that you have no idea where the bugs are and whether it is truly secure. Plus unless you are a developer, it is difficult to determine whether the system is well built or simply "spaghetti code."

So one suggestion before you try to sell it -- have a developer you trust check it out, kind of like having a mechanic examine a used car. Get their opinion on whether it's well built, easy to modify, secure, scalable, etc.

Your code may very well be worth someone who likes the functionality, prefers the particular language/technology stack you used, and does not have the time or desire to build their own.

I am not trying to be cruel and I don't mean to call your baby ugly, but I don't want to be misled into thinking your software is worth millions and you simply need to find someone who truly sees the value in it that you do.
Marlina Kinnersley
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Marlina Kinnersley Entrepreneur
Co-Founder of Fortay (Data-Driven Hiring for Culture Fit)
Thanks Steven but you are not saying anything new here. Most of us have experienced "spaghetti code" and hopefully would never try to pass off bad/unusable code that can't scale. It is expected that there be a technical audit as part of the evaluation stage, just like a home inspection before you buy a house or your mechanic for a used vehicle.

For anyone interested in selling their company (outside of a technical sale), here's an awesome article that explains the different acquisition scenarios and the anticipated valuation for each type -http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/28/how-much-can-i-sell-my-startup-for/

I'd love to hear from people who have experienced a technical sale, either seller or buyer side. Thanks! :)
Julien Fruchier
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Julien Fruchier Entrepreneur
Founder at Republic of Change
I don't have direct experience with a technical sale but do with many other 6-figure, customized and niche products. I may be stating the obvious but with something like this, the value boils down to what the buyer is willing to pay and how well you can position, market and sell the value of your platform to them.

To counter Steven's point, you could find a non-tech publisher who will value a turnkey product. You mentioned the buyer you're looking for is a niche publisher with an established users base. It shouldn't be hard to put a list of potential buyers together and start reaching out to them. Why do you need a marketplace? Frankly, it sounds like you need to create demand - what are the chances that your target buyer will have a need for a platform like yours?
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