Recently I had serious acquisition offer come out of the blue for my suite of Ghost products:
• gloat.dev (productised services business for one-off Ghost tasks)
• gum.co/substation-theme (newsletter theme)
• cove.chat (commenting tool for sites using Ghost members)
• ongloat.com (Ghost host platform)
I was presented with three different offer options, which ended up with the following amounts:
• $75k for a clean exit
• $67k to retain 20% but no commitment to work
• $50k cash injection with 50% ownership and a commitment to continue working on the projects
The monetary offers were calculated based on an MRR multiple plus an hourly rate for hours already worked.
(“MRR” was not actually MRR as Substation and gloat.dev are one-off products. I used the current MRR from ongloat.com and cove.chat and added the average monthly revenues from gloat.dev and Substation to get an MRR-like figure.)
At the time, “MRR” was $1,226. I estimated I'd worked for ~175 hours total.
Honestly, I was blown away with the offers. Although it took me a day to digest and come to a conclusion, I was ready to sell. Sell my babies!
I'd ploughed many hours into each of the projects and I enjoy working on them all, but I was willing to let them all go. $75k for a clean exit would be brutal and abrupt but, in the big picture, a huge win.
Each of the four projects were launched since May this year. It was hugely encouraging seeing someone value them as projects that were worth buying. It would be hard to let them go but the capital could be used to fuel new projects and obviously would be a boost to personal finances.
I had an hour-long call with the the prospective buyer and we talked through the different options. I made it clear that a clean exit was my preferred option; it just felt a lot easier to simply part ways, rather than continue with them in a new ownership arrangement.
Ultimately, a week after our call, the buyer decided not to pull the trigger. It sounded like they weren't 100% convinced about Ghost as a platform for the future. I am totally the opposite 😆 I'm very bullish about Ghost. It's going to become a huge player in the publishing world and I'm really enjoying watching it grow almost as an insider.
Overall—and despite nothing coming of it—this was a great exercise in sorting out my business mindset in relation to these projects, which I've dreamed about, planned, built, launched and now run. I am detached from them enough that I could sell for the right price, but I am still very fond of them and really enjoy working on them.
Plus, this whole experience was a big confidence booster and good validation that the work I'm doing is recognised by other people.
As I've tweeted before, I believe everything has its price. My projects will always be available for purchase, for the right price. (My DMs are always open)