After months of delay, the new Shopify App Store was officially launched this week. The redesigned platform has incorporated machine learning and improved search functionality to better facilitate Shopify sellers finding apps relevant to their business goals. Aiming to build the App marketplace into a source for merchants to drive growth, Shopify will curate personalized app recommendations for the more than 85% of merchants reportedly using apps to help run their Shopify businesses.
In SaaS acquisitions news, Juicer.io, market-leading social media aggregation software, has been acquired by seasoned investors Tim Schumacher and Ulrich Essmann at SaaS.group. Juicer’s founders Ryan MacInnes and Amit M. Patel built and operated an impressive SaaS enterprise with sophisticated innovative software, making Juicer’s position at the top of the social media aggregation market unsurprising, but all the more impressive considering the current competition in the space. The entire team at FE International are thrilled to see such a deserving business achieve a smooth, successful exit and are looking forward to the continued success and growth Tim and Ulrich will undoubtedly bring to the company. FE served as sole advisor on the acquisition.
The enterprise SaaS world saw Microsoft announce that they will commit to fixing any proprietary or custom company apps that break as a result of a Windows 10 or Office 365 update. Until now, fixing internal apps that became disrupted as a result of updates was left entirely to the user, but Microsoft will now help clarify which apps are at risk with impending updates, and how to remedy them. Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft 365 stated, “Using millions of data points from customer diagnostic data and the Windows Insider validation process, we’ve found that 99 percent of apps are compatible with new Windows updates,” indicating Microsoft expects most users to experience no issues with proprietary apps.
The digital marketing world saw Google Search Console come out of beta after more than a year of testing, now also adding new functionalities. Included in the new features are the redesigned manual actions interface and URL inspection tool, allowing users to run tests against a live URL. Webmasters should find that the new Search Console supports “the most common use cases,” however Google is still working on migrating all of the old features from the original Search Console.
New in digital products listings this week we have a $300K photography software suite, with c.275% CAGR for the 2017 to (e)2018 period, dozens of high-quality products, growing traffic profile with c.1 million sessions and 5 million pageviews in the past year, lean and simple cost structure driving strong net margins of c.88% in the last year and low owner involvement.
New in SaaS listings this week we have a $169K B2B e-commerce email marketing app, with dozens of five-star reviews with an average product rating of over 4.5, steady MRR growth of c.20% over the past year, lean cost structure driving strong net margins of c.90% in the last year and growing customer base with rising LTV.
Featured in e-commerce listings this week we have a $1.56M outdoor sports and recreation store, with c.232% CAGR for the 2016 to 2017 period, market-leading position in the growing $45 billion bicycle industry, dozens of high quality SKUs with hundreds of five-star customer reviews and extensive documentation of SOPs to facilitate post-sale transition. If you are interested in any of the above businesses, please follow the link to request a prospectus.
In events news, Founder Thomas Smale had a great time attending Hypergrowth 2018 and Inbound 2018 in Boston, where FE hosted a drinks event for clients and attendees. It was great to catch up with so many industry friends, so thanks to everyone who came out! Keep an eye on the FE Facebook page for images from the event.
FE is getting excited for Business of Software Conference USA, a 3-day single-track conference in Boston for Founders, CXOs, and other leaders building groundbreaking software businesses. The conference takes place October 1-3, and regular attendees include the CEOs or Founders of companies including Atlassian, Basecamp, Drift, Intercom, MailChimp and Wistia, to name a few.
Founder, Thomas Smale will be running a workshop on “Planning for an Exit” at the conference. Clients and readers can use our special promo code FEINTL at checkout to get free access to the Workshops with your Conference ticket (normally an extra $200!).
Continue reading below for more on Shopify’s redesigned App store, Microsoft’s commitment to enterprise users and Google Search Console.
- Clear product market fit, leading at a c.275% CAGR for the period 2017 to (e)2018
- Dozens of high-quality products
- Growing traffic profile with c.1 million sessions and 5 million page views in the past year
- Lean and simple cost structure driving strong net margins of c.88% in the LTM
- Low owner involvement with a freelancer staying on post-sale
Yearly net profit: $128,000
Asking price: $300,000
- Dozens of five-star reviews with an average product rating of over 4.5
- Steady MRR growth, with MRR growing c.20% in the past year
- Lean cost structure driving strong net margins of c.90% in the LTM
- Growing customer base with rising LTV
Yearly net profit: $48,000
Asking price: $169,000
- Rapid revenue growth with earnings reaching a c.232% CAGR for the period 2016 to 2017
- Market leading position in the growing bicycle industry, currently valued at $45 billion and forecast to reach $62 billion by 2025
- Dozens of high quality SKUs with hundreds of five-star customer reviews
- Extensive operational documentation and SOPs, facilitating post-sale transition
Yearly net profit: $567,000
Asking price: $1,560,000
In The News…
Shopify App Store Launches Redesign
Shopify has this week announced the redesign of their App Store for merchants.
The Shopify App Store offers both free and premium apps aimed at bolstering the functionality of Shopify merchants’ online stores. The redesign incorporates machine learning algorithms and improved search functionality to better help merchants discover relevant apps through personalized recommendations. Shopify’s redesigned app store will be a significant factor in most merchants’ business operations as 85% report the utilization of apps in the running of their businesses. Updated classifications make more specific categories of apps to further faciliate the discovery of relevant plugins and improvements to merchants’ stores. “By redesigning the Shopify App Store and the fundamental data underneath it, we can improve the results each search returns and the information Shopify merchants need to make an informed app decision before installing an app,” said Atlee Clark, Director of App and Partner Platform at Shopify.
As the machine learning algorithms gather data on merchants’ businesses on the Shopify App Store, the recommendations will become better-tailored over time.
Microsoft Expands Support for Enterprise Customers
Microsoft has committed to resolving any custom applications that experience disruptions following updates to Windows 10 or Office 365.
Typically, large companies have a suite of proprietary systems or applications used to conduct business or within the organization. Often, Microsoft’s updates cause issues to these custom applications and until now, it was left to the user to resolve the disruptions. This step by Microsoft means users will have support from the software giant in understanding which applications might be disrupted by updates as well as assistance with those that experience troubles anyway. A seemingly big influence on Microsoft’s offer to support enterprise users so generously is the fact that their data suggests the vast majority of applications will not experience issues when migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10. In fact, a new platform called “Desktop Deployment analytics maps users’ applications and uses AI to predict which are most likely to experience issues with a given update.
“You now have the ability with the cloud to have intelligence in how you manage these end points and get smart recommendations around how you deploy Windows,” stated Jared Spataro, Corporate VP of Microsoft 365.
Google Search Console Leaves Beta
After a year of beta testing, Google has released the new Search Console to be live.
Google has spent the past year migrating Search Console functions from the historical version to the new, updated platform. Search Console has spent the last year in beta testing and has this week been launched fully live, including new features. Among the new features is a URL inspection tool allowing users to run tests against live URLs, as well as a manual actions section allowing webmasters visibility into issues with their site they may with to manually resolve. The URL inspection tool means that tests are no longer based on the last time Google indexed a given URL, but rather what Google sees on the URL in real time. Of the new tool, Google said, “This is useful for debugging and fixing issues in a page or confirming whether a reported issue still exists in a page. If the issue is fixed on the live version of the page, you can ask Google to recrawl and index the page.” While Search Console is out of beta, not all features have been fully migrated over to the new version. Google stated, “[T]he old Search Console still has some features that are not yet available in the new one, we believe that the most common use cases are supported, in an improved way, in the new Search Console. … When an equivalent feature exists in both old and new Search Console, our messages will point users to the new version.”
Google noted, “We will continue working on moving more reports and tools as well as adding exciting new capabilities to the new Search Console.”
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