The 2019 Inc 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies was released this week and FE International’s inclusion on the list, while a milestone accomplishment we are proud of, indicates that the world of buying and selling SaaS, E-commerce and Content businesses is only growing in popularity. The Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, a majority of which this year fell in the technology sector.
In our recent Technology M&A Mid-Year Market Review, we delved into what is keeping tech valuations strong, investor sentiment high and economic conditions suitable for increased M&A activity. CEO Ismael Wrixen sat down with ABC News following FE International’s inclusion on the Inc 5000 to discuss the implications of this report, why small tech companies are not affected by S&P 500 fluctuations, and how market leaders are disrupting their industries using M&A.
In the App development world this week, Shopify announced that several popular apps will be removed form the store for “inadequate support for merchants and abuse of our marketing tools.” Non-compliant apps will be automatically pulled from stores on August 27, prompting Shopify to suggest replacement plugins, along with uninstall instructions. As Shopify cracks down on non-compliant apps, developers operating in line with TOS will have a new growth opportunity through prioritizing customer support and efficient marketing. Shopify has also this week launched a new web chat function for instant communication between merchants and shoppers. As Shopify’s first ever native chat client, Shopify Chat is free and can be hosted on Android, iOS and desktop devices and offers a more personal, immediate option for merchants to connect with customers.
Elsewhere in the e-commerce space, Amazon launched a redistribution program that will facilitate the donation of US overstock inventory from Amazon FBA sellers to charities. While disposal fees will still apply to the extra inventory, this option will be available through both manual and automatic disposal settings in seller’s stores. This program is intended to reduce landfill waste while simultaneously providing a sustainable option for sellers to contribute to charity.
Newly listed this week we have a rare Amazon FBA opportunity in the lucrative vitamins and supplements niche. Valued at c.$669,000, this business has a trademark brand firmly positioned in the vitamins and supplements niche. The high-quality product has driven more than c.5,700 monthly orders over the LTM as well as 5-star product reviews and the business’ membership in the ‘Subscribe and Save’ Amazon program has enabled steady repeat purchases. Please follow the link above to request a prospectus.
In events news this week, the FE team had a great time at the IndieHackers SaaS Founders Meetup on Thursday! Thanks to all the SaaS founders and business owners who came out and brainstormed with other entrepreneurs in the space; keep an eye on this newsletter for the next meetup date. Founder Thomas Smale will be attending SaaSStock Local in San Francisco on August 21 to join other leading founders in a discussion around Churnbusting and how to overcome roadblocks to growth in business. We have secured a special discount for our FE list, so if you want to attend use code ‘FEVIP’ for a FREE ticket! Later in the month on August 29th Thomas will be attending SaaStr Scale in San Francisco. If you will be attending and want to connect, feel free to reply to this email to set up a meeting.
Continue reading below for more on Shopify’s app compliance crackdown, their new chat function and Amazon FBA’s overstock charity donation program.
- Trademark brand firmly positioned in the vitamins & supplements niche
- Wide market acceptance with hundreds of 5-star product reviews on Amazon
- High-quality product offering driving more than c.5,700 monthly orders over the LTM
- Robust supplier relationships allowing the business to maintain stable unit economics
- Part of a lucrative ‘Subscribe and Save’ Amazon program, enabling the business to capitalize on steady repeat purchases
Yearly net profit: $288,000
Asking price: $669,000
- Excellent SEO foundation helping the site to rank high for organic search
- Robust c.370,000 keywords profile enabling the site to garner c.9.5 million sessions in the LTM
- Impressive revenue CMGR of c.21.4% over the last 12 months
- Loyal c.35,000 social media followers, further driving highly engaged traffic to the site
- Lean and scalable cost structure facilitating high net margin in the LTM
Yearly net profit: $63,000
Asking price: $190,000
- Five years of operational history in the lucrative technology, lifestyle and entertainment niche
- Impressive content library with over 1,800 posts across various niches
- Robust backlink profile with keyword rankings for c.68,000 keywords
- Steady traffic with over 6.7M visitors in the LTM
- Impressive social media presence with more than 120,000 Facebook followers
Yearly net profit: $44,000
Asking price: $125,800
In the News…
Shopify removes non-compliant apps
On Tuesday, Shopify released an announcement stating their discontinuation of Beeketing and BoostFlow apps from the Shopify App Store. The removal of the apps is the result of an ongoing failure to comply with Shopify’s Partner Program Agreement. Violations of the agreement included poor support for merchants and irresponsible usage of Shopify’s marketing tools.
The removal will take effect August 27, 2019. On that date, all apps under Beeketing and their secondary platform, BoostFlow, will be disconnected. The announcement lists the thirteen apps being discontinued including Facebook Chat, Boost Sales, and Mailbot Email Marketing, along with long list of alternative apps users can use in replacement, including sales, marketing, and chat tools.
New Shopify Chat function for stores
On Wednesday, Shopify introduced a new feature available to thousands of merchants and small business owners called Shopify Chat. The chat function will allow merchants to communicate with consumers using a web browser via a laptop, Android, or iOS device. Shopify Chat is currently free for businesses and plans to expand with SMS functionality in the future. A representative from Shopify stated, “Our goal is to have a basic default offering that reaches everybody.” The new feature comes in addition to an app released last year, Ping, which is a customer conversation managing app for Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Shopify’s automated bot Kit, and now Shopify Chat messages. Shopify’s latest feature will allow users to further engage customers through chat.
Amazon FBA will donate overstock items in US
Amazon is taking steps to minimize their contribution to the environmental crisis by reducing the amount of unsold warehouse merchandise that ends up in landfills. Amazon released a statement this week notifying users beginning September 1, 2019, all eligible overstock and returns inventory selected to be disposed will automatically be a made available to US charities.
The program set to be available in the US and UK is called “Fulfilled by Amazon Donations.” Nonprofits and charities working with Amazon include Barnardo’s, Newlife, and the Salvation Army. In May, CBS reported that in a nine-month period, one Amazon facility sent nearly 300,000 overstock products to a dump. By offering a cheaper and less environmentally damaging option for third party vendors to get rid of their unsold inventory, Amazon will make a social impact as well by placing goods into the hands of those who need them.