As an online marketplace for buying and selling business with more than three million registered users worldwide, Melbourne-headquartered Flippa plans to double its headcount to more than 100 staff after raising $15 million in a Series A round led by Sydney-based venture capital firm OneVentures.
Founded in 2009 by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, who had also co-founded the now Accel-backed 99designs the year before, Flippa has become the world’s largest community of buyers and sellers of online businesses thanks to a proprietary valuation product and matching algorithm that have resonated with digital entrepreneurs.
The core business allows customers to sell their company through the platform or with the help of a broker or mergers and acquisitions advisor, but its offering has also expanded to due diligence and acquisition finance via Thrasio-owned Yardline Capital, as well as its new service Flippa Legal.
With new funding the company plans to ramp up recruitment in Melbourne, San Francisco, Austin and for remote positions, as well as scaling up its valuation tool which it likens to a "Zillow Zestimate" for online businesses.
"Selling a business has traditionally been difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way," says Harbottle.
"Our vision for Flippa has always been to create a trusted, frictionless platform where sellers can find the right buyer for their business at the right time, and consummate the transaction with all parties involved in a safe, efficient way.
"We’re delighted to be teaming up with OneVentures via this Series A investment which will help us extend Flippa’s market-leading position and deliver on our original vision."
The latest raise attracted new investors including Catch.com.au founders Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, RetailMeNot.com founders Guy King and Bevan Clarke, and Reactive Media founders Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy.
OneVentures led the capital raise through its 1V Growth Fund V, along with existing Flippa investor Andrew Walsh who was formerly CEO of Hitwise, and the Flippa co-founders.
"It’s not often you get an opportunity to invest in an Australian company that has grown to be the number one company in such a fast growing area," says OneVentures operating partner Nigel Dew.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Flippa team, as they democratize the exit for millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs.
"Businesses are now ‘digital-first’ and new business creation levels are at all-time highs."
Dew notes there were roughly 4.5 million new business applications in the USA alone last year, which is 50 per cent higher than the 2010-2019 average.
"This wave of digital entrepreneurship is undeniably the new normal and Flippa is playing a critical role in connecting buyers and sellers globally and executing M&A transactions," Dew says.
Flippa's transaction volume is currently up by around 100 per cent year-over-year with 300,000 new registered users in the last 12 months, and 4,000 business valuations processed each month for a combined asset value of $340 million.
"In 2009, Flippa invented the space for buying and selling digital businesses and as a bootstrapped startup we’ve achieved number 1 status globally," says Flippa CEO Blake Hutchison.
"We’ve witnessed thousands of success stories, where business owners use Flippa to realise value in their extraordinary efforts.
"We are now growing into a market network to streamline transactions of all sizes and we’re excited to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors."
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