WordPress Plugin Gem Nets Six Figures in Flippa Sale

With nine transactions since 2014, Brant is a seasoned user of Flippa. His latest sale of WPGetAPI, a free WordPress Plugin, sold for six figures—his biggest sale yet.

The business started modestly, generating a few hundred dollars a month, but gradually grew to a point where, around 18 months later, Brant felt confident enough to leave his full-time job in January 2023 to commit fully to his venture. 

By the time of sale, the plugin had around 6,000 active installs, with about 500 to 600 active paid users generating thousands in monthly recurring revenue.

The Inspiration Behind the Idea

Brant had been freelancing for over a decade while balancing a full-time job. Over time, he shifted his focus towards API (Application Programming Interface) work. 

Faced with repetitive API tasks, Brant created a small plugin, which would later be known as  WPGetAPI to streamline his workflow.

This plugin’s launch on a simple webpage, followed by an immediate sale the next day, sparked the idea that this tool could have commercial potential. 

Brant’s business model was ingeniously simple yet effective. He leveraged a freemium approach by offering a basic version of his plugin for free while enticing users with the option to upgrade to a pro version for additional premium features. This strategy maximised the plugin’s reach and ensured a steady conversion rate of ~10% of users to the paid subscription. 

Brant explained the plugin was created to simplify a complex technical process, yet it still demanded significant technical support. In addition to addressing customer inquiries, Brant also focused on developing new plugins and features, many of which were inspired by customer feedback and requests.

As the plugin gained traction, Brant saw a steady increase in monthly recurring revenue, signalling the viability and demand for his product. 

This growth, however, was not overnight. 

It took 18 months of gradual development, support, and adding new features before Brant could confidently transition to focusing on his business full-time in January 2023.

The plugin, which debuted on the WordPress plugin directory, benefited from the organic traffic and visibility afforded by the popular platform. This ease of discovery, requiring no advertising on Brant’s part, laid the foundation for a business model that thrived on organic growth.

By the time of sale, the plugin had around 6,000 active installs, with about 500 to 600 active paid users—and 26 five star reviews on WordPress’ plugin directory.

So, Why Did Brant Decide to Sell?

Brant said that once he made a couple of plugin sales, he knew he’d eventually sell the business, but the decision to sell came slightly earlier than anticipated, driven by a sense that “the time seemed right.” 

“I’ve built and sold probably half a dozen plugins in the past, but they were very small plugins compared to this. I sold it three or six months earlier than I originally thought I would,” Brant said.

Listing the plugin on Flippa quickly led to interest from potential buyers. Remarkably, within just two days, the eventual buyer made a decisive offer to purchase at the asking price, bypassing any need for negotiation. 

But finding the right buyer was important to Brant, who explained, ” Even if somebody offered more and they weren’t the right buyer, I don’t think I would’ve sold to them.” 

A big concern of selling for Brant was considering how technical the plugin is and the support that would be required. So, Brant’s decision was influenced by the buyer’s existing experience. This buyer possessed a range of related plugins, including those addressing backup, migration, and security, which aligned closely with Brant’s own product.

Selling with Flippa

Selling his plugin on Flippa, particularly this one with a higher price tag, was a streamlined experience for Brant. He found the platform user-friendly, though he noted, “Add your description—that’s the hard part—to accurately convey the value and functionality of the product in writing.” 

Ashwin, his M&A advisor, played an important role in smoothing potential communication hurdles and legal complexities, which Brant found tedious yet manageable.

Brant praised Ashwin’s diligence and his ability to bridge the gap between him and the buyer, especially when his own responsiveness lagged. “Ashwin was really good, because I’d slack off a bit occasionally with communication, and he’d push me.”

The time difference with the buyers in the UK presented a minor obstacle, but one that was easily overcome with Ashwin’s assistance, earning him a “10 out of 10” in Brant’s eyes.

Brant described the asset transfer phase post-sale as straightforward, benefiting from his previous experience with similar transactions. 

A 30-day support period followed the sale, during which Brant remained available to assist the new owners. However, he found that their lead support required minimal guidance. “He took it all and ran with it.”

Looking ahead

Brant has returned to freelancing on Upwork, specialising in API work for WordPress, which allows him to leverage his expertise while contemplating his next steps. The successful sale provides him with financial flexibility and the opportunity to invest in another business, possibly another plugin. 

“I’m looking to buy another business, so you might hear from me again.” 

Inspired by this story? Read up on others who have successfully bought and sold their businesses here.

If you’re ready to sell, get a free valuation for your business here.

If you’re ready to buy, find your next business venture on Flippa

    Courtney is the founder of Scribble Content and specializes in writing for eCommerce and related SaaS businesses.

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