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70 Comments

🥳 I Sold My First SaaS For Mid Five Figures

Yesterday I sold Influence Grid!

I started it in December and bootstrapped to $3500 MRR.

Can’t say the exact amount but I was mid five figures.

Why sell when it was going quite well?

  1. I have some other ideas/ tools I want to build that I encountered during this project.
  2. It’s also based on scraping, which could break irreversibly at any point, so the whole thing felt a bit unsustainable- cashing in and moving onto a new project felt the right move.

Lessons learnt doing this project:

  1. Invest in SEO early, then forget about it for a couple of months and do direct outreach. Then see check how the SEO is doing. Here’s the SEO strategy that got me to 800 organic visitors a day: https://twitter.com/clokehead/status/1257597795432873986?s=21
  2. Copycats will happen, including fellow IHers. It’s absolutely infuriating but ignore them as best you can. Speak to your customers to stay ahead.
  3. Unless you’re very lucky, a PH /HN launch isn’t marketing strategy. You need a more scalable channel.
  4. Pick an industry you’re interested in else you’ll want to sell it after six months!
  1. 10

    Congrats, Andy! It doesn't feel that long ago that I commented on your 10k ARR milestone :)

    I think selling was probably a smart idea, one small change from TikTok (or wherever you're scraping from) and your whole business is in trouble. I've experienced similar frustrations with my own product (YT to IG) where Instagram have implemented various changes and restrictions.

    Looking forward to seeing what you build next!

    1. 5

      Thanks Jamie!

      Exactly, next I want to find something that’s built on open standards / platforms that are unlikely to change too much.

  2. 8

    Newb question I know but what does "Invest in SEO early" mean exactly, buying add words? Adding the write meta data to the site? Please elaborate 🙏

  3. 4

    Andy, I was going to build just this app. I did not understand how to monetize it and I thought it's best to use their api. But I could not find anything for it, so I put the idea on a backburner.

    Never thought scraping would be a viable solution, but you've clearly proven me wrong. Congrats!!!

    1. 1

      Thanks, yeah the scraping wasn't easy but it was doable.

  4. 2

    Hey Andy, congrats on your sale! Sounds like you made the right move.

    Why did you choose the creator's niche? Any interest on particular or you just saw the opportunity?

    I am super interested on Saas for creators as I think there's huge potential. Is your Next move on that direction?

    1. 2

      Thanks. Purely opportunistic, hence wanting to move onto something else. There are definitely loads of opportunities in this niche though as platforms change so much.

      1. 1

        Totally agree! Good luck on to the Next one!

  5. 2

    Congrats Andy,
    I remember reading your post in SaaS marketers a few weeks back.
    I think your product was the first TikTok focused product.
    Can't wait to see what you build next :)

  6. 2

    Amazing learnings and success, Andy. Do you have any particular tips about selling your website? How did you approach finding a buyer? Which platform did you use etc.

    1. 2

      I just posted on my social media and microacquire. It was too young for brokers like FE international.

      I potentially left some money on the table by not putting it on Flippa, not sure, but they take 10%.

      1. 1

        Ah, interesting. Thanks. I just try to understand the market a bit better, just launched a newsletter around this: deals flow.com

        If you have any thoughts or feedback, let me know! Enjoy your weekend

  7. 2

    Congrats! How did you come up with the idea?

      1. 2

        Thanks! I didn't try your top-up approach for ideation. Let us know your next big thing. :-)

  8. 2

    congratulations!
    how was the project transfer process? Do you use a dedicated email account and signed up with it for all-around services?
    Have you used escrow service for transfer?

    Thanks.

    1. 2

      Thanks. Yeah LastPass sign in for every platform account.

      Some back and forth with MFA codes but it was easy enough.

      They sent me the money then I transferred (we had a contract). I think this is unusual - most people use escrow services

  9. 2

    So much valuable stuff. I really hope you'll take some time to reflect on everything and share everything you remember. Congratulations.

    Now do it again ;)

    1. 2

      Thanks, definitely want to write everything down, for my future benefit and maybe other people’s

  10. 2

    congratulations! seems like the right decision

  11. 2

    Fantastic Andy! Congratulations, very happy for you mate 🥳

  12. 2

    Massive congratulations Andy. Big fan of what you did with Influence Grid. It definitely fell into the category of a product I discovered when looking into doing something similar at the time. Really happy to see the validation in it and sale!

    1. 1

      Cheers, appreciate it!

  13. 2

    Amazing!!! Congrats Andy.
    Any details how you sold it? Was it inbound?

    1. 1

      Thanks!

      I put it up for sale about a month ago, so I was actively looking.

      I basically put a post on IH, LinkedIn, Twitter, MicroAcquire and linked to a Google Doc with all the details. Had quite a lot of interest and went with the first offer that was close to my asking price.

  14. 1

    About point #4, does that mean you weren't interested? Congrats by the way!

    1. 1

      Thanks, yeah not really interested in influencer marketing

  15. 1

    Congrats Andy! Thanks for sharing your SEO strategy as well.

    I started earlier this year Growth Gems and only at $620 MRR so far...So this is inspiring.

    Very timely product too, nicely done. Looking forward to what you're building next!

  16. 1

    Congrats if you've managed to achieve what you wanted, but if you managed to grow from 0 to 3500MRR in ~6 months, selling for the future income of the next year seems like a net loss, unless your operation costs where prohibitively high.

    On a related topic, how did you manage to get a buyer? Did you advertise you wanted to sell? Were you somehow audited? (checking you are not violating licenses, TOS, etc.?)

    1. 1

      12 * 3500 < what I sold for.

      Posted on social media, IH and mentioned to a couple of people, so yes I advertised it.

      There was a 2 week due diligence period where the buyer had access to most stuff to audit it.

  17. 1

    Nice job, and great learnings. Thank you for sharing.

  18. 1

    Thanks for sharing this! How does SEO look like in your case, was it writing articles around a specific keyword like in the Tweet described, you have some examples of some you did?

    1. 1

      I created 100s of programmatically generated pages like this one: https://www.influencegrid.com/tiktok-influencers/yoga so no actual writing

  19. 1

    Big congratulations Andy. I still have influence grid saved in my bookmark saved from an influencer campaign I ran, back when I discovered the tool. :D

    Do you mind sharing what marketing budget per month you had including for SEO?

    Also, How many keywords did you initially target?

    Congrats again.

    Cheers!

    1. 1

      0 budget, just time as I was doing it myself.

      I created 100s of programmatically generated pages like this one: https://www.influencegrid.com/tiktok-influencers/yoga so no actual writing

  20. 1

    Would you mind sharing a link (or name) to the github repo you referenced in the Data Sourcing section #2 in the Google doc?

    Congrats Andy! And thank you for all this information. The Google doc is an excellent guide.

    1. 2

      Thanks! I'll have to let you figure that out yourself - wouldn't want to create any competition for the buyer

      1. 1

        Got it. Looking forward to hearing about your next win!

  21. 1

    Congrats, Andy! It seems like a really nice idea executed very well. All the best for your next project!

    In one of the comments, you had mentioned about putting up some details in Google Docs about your product. If it isn't proprietary would you be able to share it here?

  22. 1

    Congrats dude! 🥳

    I'm sure you handled this properly, and I only ask because I look for buying opps but the buyer knows the risk that encompasses scraping and what that could negatively do to the current MRR if the platform changed?

    Also, how did you find your buyer?

    1. 1

      Yeah, they actually have a similar business based on scraping so they know it's risky. I didn't try and hide this at all

      I'm not 100% but I think it was from posting on Twitter

  23. 1

    Congratulations :)
    Neat react ux, love it.
    Can you share some info about the tech stack you used?
    It also looks like the webscraping was a massive work, what did you used and how hard was to develop it?

  24. 1

    Congrats on your sale Andy!

    Did you sign a non-compete? ;)

    What do you think Ahrefs and Moz. have in common? :)

    They scrape GOOGLE!!

    Their MRR? 1M+ MRR. I wouldn't be too worried about it. Yes the scraping breaks sometimes but it's also where money is made. Doing things other people aren't doing.

    Then again I can imagine it's a great feeling to have sold your first business! It can only get better! :)

    1. 1

      Non-compete yes.

      Yeah I have nothing against scraping but I'd rather build on something less flaky and in an industry I'm more into

  25. 1

    Great to hear and also good advice - particularly the reality of big PH/HN launch vs long term SEO/direct outreach.

    1. 2

      Thanks. It's definitely easy to fall into the trap of thinking a launch is everything, particularly when some of our most loved products (e.g. nomadlist) seem to have a huge launch and never look back.

  26. 1

    Congratulations Andy! This is great to read. Wishing you more success for the future

  27. 1

    Nice job! Congratulations on the sale!

    May i ask what other practices did you apply to get visitors to your page?

    I'm feeling that with my current product, scraper.ai i have good conversions but driving traffic to it seems rather hard?

    1. 1

      What's the ai bit in scraper?

      1. 1

        the classification of websites

        1. 1

          Pretty much just LinkedIn outreach + SEO!

    2. 1

      Thanks.

      Cold outreach to industry journalists
      Cold LinkedIn outreach to influencer agencies
      Seo - this was most sign ups in the end

  28. 1

    Congrats Andy, hope to see more awesome products from you!

  29. 1

    Nice!! Can you tell from which source you got the sale?

    1. 1

      Not actually sure! I think Twitter

  30. 1

    Congrats Andy - great news. That's rapid progress from our IndieBeers interview back in February!

    1. 1

      Thanks Charlie, and thanks for featuring it so early on!

  31. 1

    Congrats Andy! The next one seven figures. Any idea of the next venture?

    1. 3

      Thanks, and hopefully! I have some ideas for lead gen and seo tools but I’m having difficulty validating them so not sure yet

      1. 1

        Go for them, and good luck!

  32. 0

    Congratulations, Andy! That's some great advice!

    We are working on a SaaS product called Browsee (https://browee.io) which helps products to improve User Experience using Session Recordings, Heatmaps, and Funnels. It is good to see other bootstrapped SaaS businesses doing well.

    It would be great if you can give us some feedback on Browsee too!

    1. 2

      Thanks. My feedback would be: remember to spell your company correctly when linking to it ;)

  33. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

  34. 3

    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.

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