I went from wondering if I could sell my startup to actually selling my startup!
Here’s how I did it
Jun 23 2021 10:41:22: Registered on the website, filling the details. Seems pretty straightforward
After spending months ideating, building Privacysanta in 2020, I hit a roadblock with customers. Anytime I got some traction, the common question was “Have you verified the policy with a lawyer?”
I spent a month before launching, going through GDPR to verify it was correct, but that answer didn’t suffice, and understandably so.
In 2021, was following Andrew Gazdecki on Twitter, loved his tweets and finally decided to try out Microacquire.
My motivation was purely to help another entrepreneur get to market faster, I had no idea how startup valuations worked (I still don’t know).
This event above is when I registered on Microacquire.
Jun 23 2021 10:43:25: Connecting to stripe and sharing the stripe details.
Stripe is the payment gateway for receiving payments online.
This step is done for knowing how many customers you have, also helps with startup valuation.
Jun 23 2021 10:48:21: Profile needs to approved by admin, let's see how it goes.
Jun 23 2021 16:26:55: Got a questionnaire from Andrew, need to take a look at it.
The questionnaire was about preparing for things to keep in mind before selling your startup on Microacquire.
Jun 23 2021 16:41:51: Went through the process on gmail for microacquire, interesting way. Need to make a pitch deck.
Was planning to make a pitch deck, but once I got access, I only filled the required fields for listing my startup.
Required fields were:
- Startup Type
- Growth Opportunity
- Reason for selling
- Asking price
- Number of customers currently
Filled the required fields and submitted.
Jun 24 2021 10:54:34: Got 3 offers from microacquire, just got another to schedule a call to explain. 1 buyer which I am really looking forward to is ██████
I can’t disclose the buyers name, for the sake of continuity let’s call them Buyer#1 and Buyer#2.
Honestly I had 0 expectations of ANY offer. The fact that I got 2 really blew my mind.
All the comments I received were extremely positive, everyone loved the product.
I had my expectations on Buyer#1, they already had a suite of GDPR related tools and it seemed this would be a no-brainer value addition for their customers.
Jun 25 2021 20:57:18: Had a discussion with ████ yesterday, they were interested. Asked if Paypal would be enough and I said yeah. So far, haven't received the purchase agreement. Will mail after the call.
Buyer#1 was happy, ready to send purchase agreement and close the deal. Great!
Jun 26 2021 7:57:09: Got an agreement from ████
Meanwhile, Buyer#2 with whom I had a call on Jun 25 (forgot to log) sent a LOI(letter of intent) immediately.
The log is incorrect, should be LOI not agreement.
Jul 01 2021 00:17:57: Got the purchase agreement on Monday, signed it. Then they rejected it. Now I don't know why they are doing it. I've reached back to ████ to discuss. Let's see.
Buyer#1 sent the purchase agreement on Jun 28.
Meanwhile, I posted on Twitter, shared with family members that the sale is done. Was on top of the world.
Jul 1, got this email
Reached out to Buyer#2, they had some issues of their own so they didn’t respond that day or for the next few days.
Got this email at midnight, couldn’t sleep that day.
Was walking the entire night.
After some reflection (still walking), I realized I was sad because I let down everyone I told that I was selling my startup.
What would they think about me?
Realized, that had nothing to do with me.
Their judgement/perception about me is out of my control, so no point thinking about it.
The next morning, shared with everyone that the deal was off.
Surprisingly, people were very kind and supportive. For which I am extremely grateful.
Jul 16 2021 19:39:47: The buyer reached back wanted to discuss at $2k, didn't want to do at that. Since I've spent significant time.
15 days have passed, nothing significant has happened.
Got few messages from other buyers, but none of them seem genuine.
Buyer#1 reached back asking if $2k would do, wasn’t interested.
They said they rejected because the tech stack didn’t align, which seemed like a genuine reason, but if they had discussed those concerns maybe I could have helped.
Oct 25 2021 22:48:00: Another buyer has sent a purchase agreement, but they are using a escrow service. Which is probably right, I need to setup the accounts for transfer
Forgot to log after the last event, thought no one would buy so gave up.
Sept 6, Jay Gilden, founder of Openly reached out on Twitter, he was interested.
After some back and forth, finally in the last week of October we settled.
Jay sent me the purchase agreement, I signed it.
If you don’t know, escrow is a middleman that:
1. Takes payment from seller
2. Verifies that assets are transferred from seller to buyer
3. Sends the payment to seller
- Jay sent escrow $3k.
- I setup an account with all assets: socials, codebase etc., sent it to him to verify.
- Jay verified to escrow that he received the items, escrow sent me the money.
- Escrow gave me a transaction report saying they sent the money on Nov 2
Received the transaction completion on Dhanteras, which is a day when you celebrate wealth and prosperity in India. I’ll take that as a yes from the gods.
Nov 10 2021 18:40: Finished up the sale, got the money.
The transaction was initiated on November 2, since this was a international wire, it took more days than expected.
Came back from my evening walk, checked my phone and got this notification.
Removed Privacysanta from Microacquire.
Finally shared with everyone that the sale went through, the money has arrived.
Everyone was happy and supportive.
I hope Jay makes >100x on this investment :)
That’s how I sold my startup. Hope you enjoyed it.
- Twitter thread