Home The Other Startup Exit: SitePoint Marketplace

The Other Startup Exit: SitePoint Marketplace

About a year ago, the so-called “eBay exit,” in which startups sold themselves on eBay, got a lot of buzz after an article in USA Today. We picked up the story as well and noted a number of relatively high profile eBay start up exits, the most famous of which is probably the 2006 eBay sale of online calendar startup Kiko for $250,100. But the preferred quick public sale location for startups may no longer be eBay. That title may now belong to the SitePoint Marketplace.

We mentioned SitePoint in our post about eBay startup sales, and noted that blog platform Blogster attempted to sell itself on SitePoint in January 2007, though apparently unsuccessfully.

Since then, SitePoint has experienced tremendous growth in their Marketplace, and expects to see $60 million worth of web sites for sale this year. How many of those will actually sell is another matter altogether, but sales were up 290% last month to $1.2 million in declared sales out of about $5 million listed (i.e., the total asking price of all sites listed in April). The site’s Premium Sites section (reserve of $10,000+) has seen an approximately 20% sell through rate since January.

The Marketplace, which also includes sections for selling domains, templates, scripts and software, and other services, now accounts for 35% of SitePoint’s traffic, eclipsing their very large forums in popularity. SitePoint’s forums have 250,000 members and 3-4k simultaneous users at all times, so that’s saying something. SitePoint actually just recently launched a new forum for the discussion of selling web sites.

How many of the sites being sold on SitePoint are web apps or web 2.0 mashups is hard to tell — my guess is not all that many. Most of the sites up for sale on the SitePoint Marketplace are niche content plays, ecommerce sites, or web discussion forums. But the occasional web 2.0 startup does cross their pages. SitePoint will never be the place to sell very large ticket sites (it’s doubtful that you’ll see Google trawling the SitePoint Marketplace looking for an acquisition — though that’s where TechCrunch picked up InviteShare last summer), but it is a good exit option for smaller, “me-too” startups, mashups, or niche social networks.

Full disclosure: For four years I was a volunteer moderator at SitePoint’s Forums, and also moderated sales in the Marketplace section, where I helped to create many of the original buyer/seller guidelines. I am no longer involved with the site.

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