Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background? How did you start the business?
I started the business in 2012 as a personal blog to learn and share my insights on big data. From there, it has been growing to an all round content platform around emerging technologies where hundreds of people share their insights on the platform.
How have you marketed the product and where are your customers originating from?
Our visitors come from the USA, Europe, and India. We have not done any paid marketing and all traffic is organic.
Is the asset on your listing owner-operated, how much time does it take to run the business, who else is needed on the team, and what is automated?
Yes, it is owner-operated and it takes approximately 2-3 hours per week to run the platform. Most of the components are automated, such as checking the quality of articles before they are published, the blocking of bots and trolls, and importing jobs and events.
What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current form?
If you do not want to change anything, you can continue to run the platform as I did; create and send the weekly newsletter, review articles that are queued for moderation, and publish any promotional content. In case you want to bring the website to the next level, I would recommend making a few changes and focus on creating more editorial content and doing more marketing.
Can you list a few opportunities for a potential new owner to continue growing the business?
There are various ways how a new owner can improve the website:
1. Focus on more User Generated Content by actively approaching thought leaders and experts and invite them to share their knowledge on the platform.
2. Focus on paid user-generated content. Selected authors can be invited to write on the platform but receive payment based on the quality and popularity of the article.
3. Focus on editorial (technology news) content written by authors employed by the platform and available to all. These could be marked as editorial so that readers know this content is written by the platform.
4. Focus on editorial content, available to subscribers only: Some editorial content can be made only available to subscribed users. This could be free of charge or require payment. Only the first two paragraphs can be shown and then a button can be shown inviting users to log in. In the back-end, the editorial team can select which articles are premium articles.
5. Focus on automated and premium newsletters that users can subscribe to, which would help expand the subscriber’s base and improve the price that can be asked for content advertising.
6. Focus on actively promoting the platform to technology vendors to drive premium directory profiles as well as sell job post listings and content marketing opportunities.
What has been the evolution of this asset since its launch?
It started out as a small personal blog around big data but then evolved into a large content platform with hundreds of authors from around the globe. Especially when I opened up the writing of articles to the public, the website took off.
How does this business make money? What are the current revenue streams?
There are five business models embedded in the platform:
1. Premium subscriptions for technology vendors. Technology vendors can create a free profile on the platform showing their products and services. Profiles are connected to any job posts published. Tech vendors can share product descriptions, videos, and images. For premium profiles, there is a lead generation system, where vendors can respond to leads received via the platform. Premium vendors also receive more visibility on the platform and in the search engine and have more opportunities to share content. Premium vendors also receive unlimited search.
2. Premium user profiles. Users can create a user profile and they need to have a minimum 70% trust score to be able to receive a public profile. They can share information on their skills and technologies that they master which benefits when they apply for jobs.
3. Premium job profiles. Any user with a >70% trust score can publish free job posts. These job posts include information on the required skills and technologies. Users that search jobs can quickly map their own skills with the required skills to see if there is a match. Premium job post owners can do the same and filter applications on how well a candidate matches a job post. Premium job posts are purchased using credits and are shown on top of relevant search results and on the homepage.
4. Press releases. Companies can directly publish a press release on the platform themselves. By submitting your press release, it will be promoted across the platform, it will be accessible through a direct link on the homepage and by Google search. The press release will be featured on the homepage and available in our sidebar (on relevant pages) for 30 days. It will be shown to relevant users, in the top bar on the homepage and on top of relevant search results for 07 days. It will remain on the platform after that.
5. Premium event listing. Event organizers can promote an event on the platform for 30 days. It will be shown to relevant users on the homepage, in the sidebar across the website, and on top of the relevant search results in the event section. In addition, you will be able to connect directly with users who show interest in your event.
Next to these embedded business models, the vast majority of the revenue is from content advertising by technology vendors. You can request our media kit with information on the various advertising deals. Content advertising companies include AWS, IBM, Intel, AtScale, Dremio, iMerit, Oracle, Rabobank, KPN, DataRobot, CloudMoyo, DataStory, Manhattan Exchange, IQPC, Dataiku, Innovation Enterprise, Sliderule Labs, WBR, Springboard, SAP, Huawei and many smaller platforms. Content advertising consists of advertorials, dedicated sponsored newsletters, inline advertisements in the weekly newsletter, social media campaigns and display advertising. There is also a Google Adsense running doing around $400-600 per month.
What marketing channels are most profitable for the business?
Google: most of the traffic is organic or direct. We do a bit of automated social media marketing (non-paid) and email marketing.
How does the business currently acquire customers and what is your breakdown for marketing costs?
All organic. We do not do any marketing and therefore also do not have any marketing costs. All advertising requests by technology vendors such as AWS, IBM, Oracle, or Intel are organic.
How big is your current team? How many people does it take to run this business?
1 – the owner and there is a software company in India that maintains the website on an ad-hoc basis.
What’s the reason for selling your business on Flippa?
I have owned the platform since November 2012, and it is time to do something new. The platform needs love. The platform has a large loyal following basis and, pre-Corona, recurring revenue from the same advertising partners. Currently, as the Founder and owner, I no longer have the time to continue to grow the platform, and hence, I am looking for a partner to take over the platform. With minimal investments, the new owner gets a fully operational platform that requires only a few hours per month to maintain but with some investment, it can grow to a leading publication around emerging technology. It has enormous potential and I believe in the potential of the platform. Therefore, part of the sale price will be in the form of an earn-out based on future revenue in the coming three years (to be paid annually).