BitsForDigits: a great MicroAcquire alternative?

August 4, 2022

While there are many startup acquisition marketplaces available, BitsForDigits and MicroAcquire are consistently among the top contenders for owners of online businesses. 

The differences between the two marketplaces start to emerge when you look at who the platforms were built for and how that contributes to ease of use and adoption. 

This article will help you understand the differences between BitsForDigits and MicroAcquire so that you can choose the startup acquisition marketplace best suited to you.

Platform summaries

MicroAcquire is a startup acquisition marketplace and brokerage aimed at streamlining the process of buying and selling a startup. It achieves this by connecting founders to prospective buyers through its platform, as well as providing a range of paid services including brokers and advisors. It also offers a valuation tool but only for SaaS startups.

MicroAcquire accommodates startups of all sizes, as there is no minimum revenue requirement, but brands itself as a platform for selling and buying failed startups.

BitsForDigits, on the other hand, helps founders of profitable businesses attract partial and full acquisition offers. It got started after its founders, Laurits and Jan-Philipp while working at BlackRock and Google, had seen owners of mostly bootstrapped internet businesses struggle unnecessarily to generate personal liquidity events.

Their solution? A platform that cuts out the middleman to facilitate direct introductions between owners and acquirers with the functionality to advertise full sales as well as minority and majority stakes in startups. It is built for real businesses that in addition to being profitable, generate a minimum of $100K in revenue annually. The platform also caters an advisor directory for help with valuations, legal, tax, accounting and due diligence, as well as a free valuation tool covering all business models.

Next to partial sales and a revenue floor, another differentiator is that BitsForDigits’ user base is equally represented across Europe and America, whereas MicroAcquire’s focus lies in the U.S.

Profitable businesses

If you’re actively looking to buy a business, MicroAcquire will have you scrolling for days. It boasts more than 2,000 live listings, so you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. 

However, upon further inspection, there’s no doubt that you’ll be flooded with tiny side hustles and loss-making businesses. This is simply because MicroAcquire doesn’t have a minimum revenue requirement for sellers to be able to list on their platform. 

At BitsForDigits, we don’t deal in failed startups or small side projects. By instituting a $100K annual revenue floor for businesses to list on our marketplace, we save buyers from wasting time trawling through bottom of the barrel listings. 

Only displaying businesses with proven product-market fit means that we in fact reject around 75% of submitted listings to ensure we prioritise quality over quantity. 

Not only is the sell-side of higher quality. If you’re a business owner, you can be sure that our buy-side is also. 

Acquirers on our platform take the form of search funds, PE firms and strategic incumbents, to name a few. So on average, buyers are more professional and less inexperienced, meaning they are less likely to waste sellers’ time.

million dollar payout

Partial vs full acquisitions

A full acquisition isn’t always the best course of action for a business owner or founder seeking a personal liquidity event. 

Understandably, as a founder, you’re concerned about the long-term viability of your business. What could happen tomorrow? Or next year? Or in five years? 

Having all your wealth tied up to a single, rather risky asset (your business) is a problem that almost every startup founder is aware of. But are you ready to give up all influence over your business that you’ve spent years building? 

If the answer is no, our platform has a solution for you. BitsForDigits is the first online acquisition marketplace that allows partial, as well as full acquisitions. 

Our platform makes it easy to sell minority and majority stakes in your company so you can liquidate part of your ownership while having the option to retain future upside and influence. 

Contrary, MicroAcquire only allows for full acquisitions. All or nothing.

Transaction fees

We don’t take any commission from the sale of your business. You heard that right. The cake is all yours to eat. 

BitsForDigits remains free for all owners wishing to list their business on our marketplace. For buyers, we’ll be introducing a subscription fee in the near future in order to access our marketplace and instantly connect with sellers of profitable online businesses.

MicroAcquire, however, takes a 5% commission from sellers’ payday for some transactions requiring additional services where they manage your entire acquisition process (or nothing if they can’t find you a buyer) and a $390/year subscription fee for buyers. 

We worry that this commission fee discourages larger M&A deals from listing on the marketplace, leaving buyers with poor quality deal flow—another reason we don’t take a commission.

Conclusion

BitsForDigits and MicroAcquire both offer state-of-the-art marketplaces to buy or sell online startups. The difference lies in the quality of listings, the option to partially acquire a business, transaction fees and the calibre of acquirers. 

So is BitsForDigits a great MicroAcquire alternative? Well, it depends on who’s asking. BitsForDigits is great for professional buyers looking to acquire real businesses, while MicroAcquire is great for buyers wanting to buy a small startup or side project. 

Interested? Learn more about BitsForDigits here, or sign up here.

About the author
Shiv Shah

Shiv Shah is a Growth Marketer at BitsForDigits. He has a background in economics and finance, having worked for institutions such as Goldman Sachs.

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