We acquire or create online products (often in SaaS) and work on growing them through code, design, and marketing.
Smaller products (few users or no revenue)
Quick poll maker
Social polling app
People directories, org charts
What kind of businesses are you looking to acquire ? 🎯
Our current sweet spot is software products, generally in SaaS, around the 3-10k MRR range. Preferably international. If you’re an indie developer looking to sell one of those, please reach out ! If you have something that’s a bit different (marketplace, mobile app) or outside that revenue range, let’s chat too.
Who are you and what led you to this ? 🍱
I’m Emmanuel Bellity (LinkedIn - Twitter). I live in Paris and I’ve been working in startups, as an entrepreneur or as an operator since 2010. Before that I worked a couple years in finance. Both these worlds seemed disconnected to me for a long time. Sure, VCs are investing in startups, but hands off the wheel, and not with an operating hat. In 2016, I acquired my first website, PopSurvey. I loved to combine the thrill of a tiny M&A deal, with the indie maker side of things of having to take over & actually do the work on this product. Surprise : it was really hard 😅. And while I got my money back over time, it was mostly a great learning experience. I repeated the experience a couple times as a side hustle, and in 2018, I joined SureSwift Capital, a fund which acquires bootstrapped SaaS businesses at a much bigger scale. Awesome experience ! And the realization that this is a performing and inspiring model. I went on to work as a Product Leader in two other startups in the 4 years that followed, but this stayed in the back of my mind : I wanted to go back to that space, with my own angle (smaller, independent, creative, product-led). Fast-forward to the summer of 2022, following the birth of our second baby 🐣, and thanks the unclear decision process of an exhausted mind : here comes Bento !
So you’re a startup studio ? 🦄
Not really. We don’t incubate projects/teams with the goal of either finding a unicorn that can go on, spin-off and raise VC rounds or go bust. Instead, we’re looking to build a diversified portfolio or profitable products, sometimes in niche markets. We’d like to keep iterating on and growing these products internally. We may also work on creative/exploratory projects with no immediate business outcome.
Is this a roll-up, a build-up, or a clever way to flip businesses ? 👔
No, you’re overthinking this. It’s not a cold financial play... First priority is to work on a variety of products, whether acquired or created internally, and to enjoy the day-to-day of building & growing them. All while making profits. Buy & hold with recurring revenue and endless learnings for 30 years would be perfectly fine.
I’d like to understand the space better. Any resources ? 📖
Here are a few good articles about this ecosystem (trends, small funds, bigger funds, marketplaces, brokers…)
Are you hiring ? 🎨
Yes ! We’re mostly looking for contractors, part-time employees or interns in the following positions :
- Full-stack Ruby on Rails developers
- Product Designers
- Growth marketers
- M&A analyst
Full-remote, any timezone is ok. Entrepreneurial spirit & intellectual curiosity to jump from one product to another is a strong bonus.
Can I invest ? 🤑
It’s a bit early to say and there are many viable ways to structure the financing side of such a weird multi-product holding company. If you’re an investor, we’d love to discuss those options with you just to get feedback.
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