Best SaaS Startups For Sale: AI, Data, Trading, and More (March 2024) 

Welcome to the March 2024 SaaS deal review!

Get ready to sample some of the best SaaS listings on Acquire.com and learn why they’re great acquisition opportunities. 

Rainier Nanquil (senior M&A advisor) and I (CEO of Acquire.com) will break down each listing, what makes it special, and what questions to ask the founder. 

Watch the full webinar recording or skip straight to the deals below. Click here to download the deck presented.

Who Are Your Presenters?

Andrew Gazdecki, founder and CEO of Acquire.com

I’m Andrew Gazdecki, founder and CEO of Acquire.com. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. I bootstrapped my first business, Bizness Apps, to $10 million in annual recurring revenue, which I later sold to a private equity firm in a life-changing acquisition. Since then, I’ve sold two more businesses, bought one, and founded the world’s largest startup acquisition marketplace.  

Andrew Gazdecki

I’ve been on both sides of the M&A table, as a buyer and a seller, so I know how complex and difficult acquisitions can be. I started Acquire.com to fix the complex acquisition process and make it easier for founders to get acquired, and it’s my pleasure to share my knowledge with you today. 

Rainier Nanquil, in-house M&A advisor at Acquire.com

I’m Rainier, one of the in-house M&A advisors here at Acquire.com. I have over a decade of experience in M&A, capital markets, and investment sales. In that time, I’ve handled over a billion dollars worth of deal volume for various markets. I know a great deal when I see one, and I’m delighted to share how I evaluate businesses with you today. 

Rainier Nanquil

Where Will You Find These SaaS Deals?

On Acquire.com! Our goal is to build the best online marketplace to buy and sell SaaS startups. 

Acquire.com Impact

Since 2019, we’ve helped over a thousand startups exit, closed over half a billion dollars in closed transactions, and registered over 400,000 buyers. Live internationally? No problem – we’re active in over 100 countries and in every continent except Antarctica. 

What Will You Learn From This Monthly SaaS Review?

You’ll discover our top listings, why we love them, and tips on how you might earn a return on investment. We know our market better than anyone, and you can use our insights to make better choices about your next acquisition or learn how buyers judge your business. 

What makes these deals special?

How We Vet Your Deals

You’ll only find high-quality deals on Acquire.com. We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a world-class curation and advisory team to publish the best listings only so you don’t waste time on dead ends or founders unwilling to sell or at a fair market price.

How Acquire.com maintains high quality of listings

Strict Curation

Only around 45 percent of startups make it through our curation process. We verify the seller’s ID and business and review their goals – ensuring the business is safe to pursue. Trust is absolutely critical to a functioning marketplace, and you can rely on us to consistently provide high-quality dealflow so you spend more time on promising targets.

NEW: Business verifications on Acquire.com

SaaS Specialists

We specialize in SaaS, with the biggest pool of SaaS companies and buyers in the world. I’ve built my career in SaaS and love the business model and the problems it solves. You can acquire other business types on Acquire.com, but our biggest market is SaaS.

Expert Support

On the seller side, we offer expert support in-house. Our M&A success team helps sellers with everything from perfecting listings to navigating due diligence. Why? To help sellers succeed while ensuring you get all the info you need when you start acquisition talks. For example: is there a P&L? A confidential information memorandum (CIM)? Due diligence checklist? Transition plan? And so on.

Listing Scorecard

When you evaluate a SaaS startup for acquisition, you might not know where to start. The same is true of sellers listing for the first time. To help, we’ve developed the listing scorecard – a checklist we use to ensure sellers and buyers start from the best possible foundation. 

For example, we’ll check the seller has completed their profile, uploaded a P&L, and connected their metrics, and so on. Have they prepared everything you need as a buyer to evaluate that business and make an offer? Is this price within market expectations

The listing scorecard benefits you and the seller, ensuring you’re aligned when talks begin. You want the seller to understand the acquisition process and be ready to answer your questions quickly. Likewise, the seller wants to keep you engaged to encourage a fair offer. 

What Does a Typical Listing Look Like?

How the Marketplace Works

If you’ve entered your acquisition criteria, the first row is listings matching your criteria. The second row is listings receiving a lot of attention from other buyers. The final row, our top picks, are listings under our guidance – startups we’ve prepped for acquisition.

Enter your acquisition criteria

But this isn’t the only way to find startups you like. Rather than browse 1,000s of listings, use the filters at the top to really zero in on startups matching your criteria. For example, filter for revenue or profit multiple, gross revenue, net profit, and other criteria. 

Sort and filter on Acquire.com

Just click All Listings and then you’ll see various filters at the top (see above). 

If you want to see our absolute best deals – of unrivaled quality – check “Guided by experts” under the Highlights filter to see those we’re helping get Acquire’d. You can also use the highlights filter to find deals pre-qualified for financing and with connected metrics (which means real-time data updates).

Additional Filters

To view the full listing and chat to the founder, request startup access by signing a mutual NDA. You can only do this with a paid subscription to one of our buyer plans

Premium and Platinum buyer subscriptions give you access to closing tools such as LOI and APA builders, free escrow, and unlimited access to deals within your plan’s limits. To find out which buyer plan is right for you, check out our pricing page

Monthly SaaS Deal Review (Feb 2024)

Please note that the deals we discuss below may no longer be active on the marketplace. As some of our best SaaS listings, they’re in high demand and typically go under offer within a few days. 

Deal 1: Data solutions for B2B sales and marketing

Details

  • Asking price: $8.75 million (4.6x profit, 2.4x revenue)
  • TTM revenue: $3.6 million
  • TTM profit: $1.9 million
  • Growth rate: 107 percent
  • Founded: 2017

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • Preapproved for financing
  • Big profit margin
  • US-based B2B SaaS
  • Massive growth rate of 107 percent
  • Bootstrapped – very lucrative
  • Most companies need this type of software – high demand
  • Hight ticket business as only needs a few enterprise clients
  • Usually lower churn on businesses like this
  • You can apply competitor plays to grow the business
  • Competitors are doing very well
  • Checks all boxes a PE buyer looks for 
  • Would be SBA-loan approved

Questions to ask

  • How are they gathering data?
  • What’s the ROI for sales and marketing teams?
  • How’s data enrichment different from competitors?
  • What’s the competitive advantage over competitors?
  • How are they achieving such phenomenal growth?
  • Who are the customers? Enterprise?
  • How are they acquiring customers in a competitive market?

Deal 2: AI-powered toolkit for data, user, and monetization for sports

Details

  • Asking price: $1.5 million (2.6x revenue)
  • TTM revenue: $576k
  • TTM profit: $0
  • Growth rate: 62 percent
  • Founded: 2019

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • Almost five years in business (over 3 is great)
  • High growth rate of 62 percent – maybe explains profit margin
  • Sports angle could interest many – big market
  • Good for someone who wants to optimize for profit
  • Data angle could be monetized too
  • Asking price is within market trends
  • Big whitelabeling opportunity
  • Motivated seller
  • Got an API and SDK already – suggests good product

Questions to ask

  • How will you continue that explosive growth?
  • Why is profit so low? High overheads? Big team?
  • Is growth seasonal or consistent?
  • Are you reinvesting everything into growth?
  • How sustainable is growth?
  • How are they acquiring customers?
  • What is the buyer opportunity? How can you make it profitable?
  • Could the software be expanded beyond sports?

Deal 3: Push ads monetization platform for publishers

Details

  • Asking price: $4.43 million (5x profit, 1.5x revenue)
  • TTM revenue: $2.9 million
  • TTM profit: $886k
  • Growth rate: 41 percent
  • Founded: 2021

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • Great performance
  • Around three years of operations
  • Based in Europe (Belgium) so big US opportunity
  • Could reinvest profits into growth
  • Great growth rate already
  • Around over 30 percent profit margin
  • Could bring revenue sharing model into new region
  • Great for steady cash flow
  • Bootstrapped – no investors
  • Half a billion in impressions and 5 million new clicks
  • Asking price in line with market expectations

Questions to ask

  • What expansion plans have they considered?
  • Why are they selling? What’s important to the seller?
  • What’s working growth-wise? How could you expand on that?
  • What’s the churn rate?
  • What’s customer profile like? Any concentration?

Deal 4: AI-powered SaaS trading algorithm

Details

  • Asking price: Open to offers
  • TTM revenue: $1.5 million
  • TTM profit: $612k
  • Growth rate: 30 percent
  • Founded: 2020

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • US-based
  • Huge 95 percent gross margin
  • Large volume of customers
  • 100 percent owned by founder
  • Almost four years in business
  • Lots of upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  • Very lean team – just two employees (low-maintenance)
  • Motivated seller (got another VC-backed business) in an interesting market (investing)
  • Could interest a strategic buyer to add to their products
  • Enough profit for salary and reinvestment into growth
  • Proprietary indicators could be licensed to hedge funds

Questions to ask

  • How are you acquiring customers?
  • What are the owner’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What’s working that you can do more of?
  • What’s not working that you can stop or fix?
  • What’s important to the seller? Price? Timing?
  • Can you negotiate a creative deal structure?

Deal 5: AI neuroscience technology tool

Details

  • Asking price: Open to offers
  • TTM revenue: $637k
  • TTM profit: $150k
  • Growth rate: 1 percent
  • Founded: 2003

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • Duolingo-like learning platform
  • Been around for over 20 years
  • Profitable – almost 25 percent profit margin
  • Cash-flowing business
  • Lot of upside potential
  • Sports angle could interest many
  • Could bake prod development into your offer

Questions to ask

  • What is patented? What’s the AI component?
  • Why is growth rate flat? Won’t or can’t raise growth capital?
  • How long has growth rate been so low?
  • How can you increase profit margin and growth?
  • Who are the competitors?
  • What’s working on customer acquisition?
  • PHP and flash – quite outdated tech – how would you maintain this?
  • Is it on maintenance mode? Private investor or individual could take over

Deal 6: Conversion Rate Optimization SaaS

Details

  • Asking price: $950k (2.9x profit, 2.4x revenue)
  • TTM revenue: $388k
  • TTM profit: $324k
  • Growth rate: 70 percent
  • Founded: 2009

View full listing

What makes this listing special?

  • Based in Poland – expansion opportunities
  • Business is priced to sell
  • Pre-approved for financing
  • Would suit private individual or investor group
  • Great for entrepreneurship through acquisition
  • Huge profit margin of over 80 percent
  • Tools like these are in high demand
  • Opportunity to niche down to a specific segment
  • Operating for 15 years
  • Has been a lifestyle business

Questions to ask

  • Would the founder consult for a while after closing?
  • How long have they been building the product?
  • Who’s the ideal customer?
  • Which products do users use the most? 
  • Who are their key customers?
  • How do they acquire customers?

Webinar Q&A

If margins are high but growth rate low, is it still worth acquiring?

Yes, depending on the reason for the low growth rate. The founder might be fatigued, or maybe they’re technical and not great at marketing, and if you’re an expert in growing businesses, you could make a lot of money by applying your growth playbooks to that business. You could also reinvest some of that margin into new growth strategies that scale the business.

What are the risks of acquiring a business with flat growth?

It depends on the cause. Questions you’d want to ask include, for how long has growth been flat? Has the founder tried and failed at growing the business? If so, why? Maybe a life event happened or the founder has another business that’s taken all of their focus and energy. Flat growth doesn’t mean there’s no opportunity; indeed, it could be a huge opportunity.

How can I use competitor information to evaluate and grow a business?

You can learn from competitors by understanding growth strategies they’ve tried in the past, which of them worked and why, and potentially apply them to a new business. You can also look at their customer reviews to see what people like and don’t like about the product, and then address competitor failings with a better product, service, or something else. Niching down can also help you stay competitive when the market is crowded with big players.

Do acquire.com M&A advisors participate in buyer/seller calls?

Yes, we prepare the seller for all possible buyer scenarios and explain how to handle those conversations, how to answer buyer questions, and what questions to ask the buyer. We often join buyer-seller calls to help clarify key issues and overcome obstacles.

What are the risks of a non-technical buyer acquiring a SaaS business?

The big risk is that you acquire a business and something happens to the code. If you don’t have a relationship with the seller and no technical expertise on hand, you could be stuck with a frozen platform. To avoid this, we recommend hiring a software development agency to help evaluate the technical side of your target business and help maintain it post-sale. Just ensure you know how to grow the business – maybe you’re a marketer or sales specialist, for example – to earn that return on investment.

To learn how to acquire and grow businesses as a non-technical founder, check out Ryan Kulp’s course that we offer for free to our Premium and Platinum buyers. 

In your experience, what are the most effective growth strategies for SaaS businesses?

It depends on your specialisms. For example, if you’re into sales and marketing, acquire businesses lacking expertise in those areas and you’ll boost growth. Also ask the founder what’s working and double down there. Ask them what’s not working and try alternatives. Maybe they haven’t understood who their ideal customer is yet and a simple change in messaging addressing their customers’ needs could kickstart growth. 

No hard and fast rules exist for growing SaaS businesses, so just play to your strengths. 

Does acquire.com match buyers to startups?

Yes. When you enter your acquisition criteria, we send you notifications the moment a matching startup goes live on the marketplace. That’s an instant notification so you can move fast on your favorite listings. You can also set up our Slack alerts app for instant Slack alerts of matching listings. This is all in addition to the listings newsletters we send.

Can you recommend people to help me do due diligence?

It depends on what kind of help you need. Your attorney is probably the best person to advise you here, but if you’re stuck, get in touch with our support team and we’ll see what we can do. 

How do you prepare sellers for buyer conversations to avoid either of us wasting time?

First thing is to establish an agenda. Sellers will be speaking to multiple buyers much like you’ll be speaking to multiple sellers. Ensure you read all the available information first so you’re not asking questions that have already been answered in a CIM or other document. In other words, do your homework before the call. Ensure you connect on a personal level with the seller. 

Our in-house M&A advisors will ensure sellers are just as prepared. We educate them on setting deal timelines, fully populating their data room, and red flags to watch out for. For example, sellers are unlikely to be impressed if they’re repeating information to you that’s already in their listing. Homework goes both ways.

Is there a guided program for buyers?

Not at the moment, but we support you at all stages of your acquisition. Whenever you need help with something, just let us know. We can help connect you with founders or refer you to experts for more complex problems. Also check out our free buyer resources on the blog or help center for answers to common queries.

What happens if a buyer finds the company on Acquire.com but contacts the founder directly?

We would recommend staying on platform at all costs since it’s the safest way to transact an acquisition. You get a transparent record of all conversations, access to powerful tools and document builders, and free integrated escrow. Plus, the founder is still due to pay our closing fee if they met their buyer on Acquire.com as per our Terms of Use. 

Are you working on any other financing options for buyers? 

Not currently. We chose Boopos as our partner as they share the same SaaS focus and have simplified the application process to make funding available in 48 business hours. They are also super helpful during the finance application process, which takes a lot of stress away from you.

Are you trading SaaS companies that are based outside of the USA?

Yes, we’re a truly international SaaS acquisition marketplace and close deals all over the world including UK, Australia, Europe, Asia, and more.

How does an SBA preapproval work?

Check out this help center article that explains the process. 

As an individual with no previous experience of running a business and limited funds, what would be your advice on how to approach building up knowledge and confidence towards acquiring and potentially raising funds?

Start small. Acquire something for a few thousand dollars and then see if you can grow revenue using simple plays like ads, SEO, or pricing tests. Ensure whatever startup you acquire is missing something that you can provide. Then, once your confidence and revenue grow, sell the business at profit to fuel another, bigger acquisition. Eventually, after repeating this process a few times, you’ll have learned so much you’ll be in an excellent position to raise funding on your “moon shot” startup, whatever that might be. 

Could you provide insights on any previous instances where businesses from your platform were successfully adapted to different geographic markets? Additionally, what support or resources does your platform offer to help in the adaptation process, including understanding market differences, regulatory compliance, and so on.

Here’s a case study you might find interesting. The acquirer incorporated a foreign-owned business in the US with the help of doola. Our legal document builders, for example, are as country agnostic as we could make them, but you’d need to consult a local attorney for specific advice to your situation.

Could you provide some insight into transaction multiple averages (Rev and/or EBITDA) for B2B SaaS based on what you’ve seen? 

Check out our multiple reports for the latest data. 

What are the potential risks and benefits of investing in businesses with a single creator? 

It depends, but SaaS businesses run by a single founder are usually low-maintenance, highly-automated, and bootstrapped, which means they’re relatively easy to acquire and grow and you retain all equity and future profits. The risk is whether you can replicate the founder’s role to continue scaling performance or need to hire someone to do it for you. Usually you can overcome concerns like these by asking the founder to stay on in the business for a year or so while you upskill, develop client relationships, or hire a team to continue growing the business.

If the founder hasn’t focused on growth, does that mean they might not stay on after the sale of the business?

It depends. Growth isn’t always a top priority for every founder, especially if it’s a side hustle or lifestyle business, or if they already run other startups. The transition period is a negotiation point like anything else. If a founder is reluctant to stay on after the deal closes, you can incentivize them to stay with a higher purchase price, more cash, or equity. 

The content on this site is not intended to provide legal, financial or M&A advice. It is for information purposes only, and any links provided are for your convenience. Please seek the services of an M&A professional before entering into any M&A transaction. It is not Acquire’s intention to solicit or interfere with any established relationship you may have with any M&A professional.

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