The Tiny Acquisitions Report

In our two-and-a-half-year journey within the niche realm of tiny project acquisitions, we've amassed a unique dataset, offering a rare glimpse into the dynamics of successful transactions.

The Tiny Acquisitions Report
The Tiny Acquisitions Report 2023

Unveiling Success Factors in Tiny Project Acquisitions: A Data-Driven Analysis

In our two-and-a-half-year journey within the niche realm of tiny project acquisitions, we've amassed a unique dataset, offering a rare glimpse into the dynamics of successful transactions.

These aren't your typical tech acquisitions; we're delving into the world of indie developers who navigate the 'tiny exit' landscape, where side projects change hands for under $5,000. Through in-depth analysis of this compact yet insightful space, we're uncovering key factors that make tiny projects irresistible to buyers.

Our study spans various project types and financial indicators, unveiling critical insights for entrepreneurs, developers, indie hackers, and tech investors seeking to understand and succeed in this distinct market.

Basis of Analysis: Tiny Acquisitions Platform Overview

  • Total Projects Listed: To date, 2,900 projects have been submitted for listing on Tiny Acquisitions.
  • Active Projects: Of these submissions, 421 are currently active. These active projects are the ones currently engaging with potential buyers.
  • Projects Sold: 122 projects have successfully found new ownership. This milestone reflects the platform's role in facilitating meaningful connections between project creators and interested acquirers. It's important to note that sellers have the option to "Mark As Sold" their listings while other successful acquisitions happen directly via our exchange platform.
  • Offers Received: 218 projects have received offers. Across these projects, a total of 319 offers were received.
  • Project clicks: The projects listed have collectively garnered 91,617 clicks. *Clicks represent the number of instances a unique project URL was opened in the browser by a user that has signed up on Tiny Acquisitions.

Top 5 Project Categories Leading to Successful Acquisitions

After analyzing the categories of projects that either received offers or were sold, the top five categories with the highest correlation to success are:

  1. SaaS: A total of 98 instances of success (combined sold and offers received).
  2. Source Code: With 47 instances of success.
  3. AI (Artificial Intelligence): Totaling 45 successful instances.
  4. Stripe: Recorded 34 instances of success.
  5. GPT-3: Achieved 31 instances of success.

*Project categories also include tech-stack, third party applications and general technological terms that would categorize side products.

Top 5 Project Categories Leading to Successful Acquisitions on Tiny Acquisitions
Top 5 Project Categories Leading to Successful Acquisitions on Tiny Acquisitions

These categories represent the most common project categories that attracted interest from buyers, either through direct acquisitions or by receiving offers. This insight can be particularly valuable for understanding market trends and the types of projects that are currently in demand. ​​

Top 5 Types of Products That Get Acquired

We analyzed successful project listings to identify key themes and keywords that resonate with buyers. By merging these insights with broader market trends, we pinpointed niche categories within the tech acquisition space.

This focused approach offers valuable guidance for programmers and indie hackers, highlighting in-demand niches that reflect current market dynamics.

1. E-commerce and Marketing Platforms

  • Niche Online Stores: Specializing in unique or specialized products.
  • Dropshipping Platforms: Tools that facilitate easy setup and management of dropshipping businesses.
  • Digital Marketing Automation: Software that automates various aspects of digital marketing, such as social media posting or email campaigns.
  • SEO Optimization Tools: Tools that help websites improve their search engine rankings.

2. User Engagement and Paid Services

  • Subscription Management Platforms: Services that manage and streamline subscription-based business models.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: Software focused on managing customer interactions and data.
  • Interactive User Engagement Tools: Platforms that increase user interaction, such as live chat support or feedback systems.
  • Freemium Model Optimization: Tools that help optimize the conversion from free to paid users.

3. Tech and Micro-SaaS Products

  • B2B SaaS Solutions: Targeting specific business needs, such as inventory management or invoicing.
  • API Integration Platforms: Services that facilitate integration of various APIs for enhanced functionality.
  • Niche Analytics Tools: SaaS offering specialized analytics for specific industries or functions.
  • Remote Work Management Tools: Software that aids in managing remote teams and workflows.

4. Email and Content Creation Tools

  • Automated Email Marketing Tools: Services that automate and personalize email campaigns.
  • Content Curation and Generation: AI-driven tools for creating or curating digital content.
  • Newsletter Management Platforms: Solutions for creating, managing, and distributing newsletters.
  • Visual Content Creation Tools: Software focused on easy creation of visual content like infographics or social media posts.

5. AI-Driven Applications

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered bots for customer service or personal assistance.
  • AI in Analytics: Tools using AI to provide predictive analytics and insights.
  • Content Personalization Tools: AI-driven solutions for personalizing website content for each visitor.
  • Automated Data Processing Tools: Applications that use AI to process and interpret large sets of data.

Guidance for Programmers and Indie Hackers:

When deciding on a project, consider the following:

  • Market Gap and Demand: Look for niches where demand exists but is not fully met by current solutions.
  • Your Expertise: Align the project with your skills and interests. Passion and expertise often translate into more innovative and successful projects.
  • Scalability: Consider how easily the product can be scaled. SaaS products, for example, are often more scalable than service-based models.
  • Monetization Strategy: Have a clear plan on how the project will generate revenue, whether it's through subscriptions, ads, or direct sales.
  • User Experience: Focus on creating a seamless and intuitive user experience. This is often a key differentiator in tech products.

By targeting these specific sub-categories and considering the above factors, programmers and indie hackers can increase their chances of developing projects that not only fulfill a market need but also have a higher likelihood of being successfully sold or receiving attractive offers.

MRR, Net Profit and Listing Price for Successful Acquisitions

The crucial correlation between Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), net profit, setting a suitable selling price range and their impact on sale success was explored.

By examining data trends and drawing informed generalizations, this analysis will not only reveal how MRR and net profit levels influence a project's likelihood of being sold but also guide you in setting a realistic and market-aligned listing price.

*MRR, Net Profit & Prices are in USD


The histograms have been adjusted to exclude outliers, focusing on the ranges that capture the majority of the data.

Based on the analysis of projects that were sold and those that received offers, here are some insights and generalizations:

Sold Projects

  • MRR: The average Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is approximately $338, but there's a wide standard deviation, indicating significant variation. The median MRR is $0, suggesting many projects were sold without generating recurring revenue.
  • Net Profit: The average net profit is around $64, but again, there's a large variance. The median is $0, which indicates that a substantial number of sold projects were not profitable at the time of sale.
  • Price Range: The average listing price ranges from approximately $1,713 (low) to $4,619 (high). The data shows a large range, with some projects listed as high as $100,000.

Projects with Offers

  • MRR: The average MRR for projects that received offers is higher at about $769. The median remains at $0, indicating a similar trend to sold projects.
  • Net Profit: The average net profit for these projects is approximately $115, and the median is again $0.
  • Price Range: The average listing price for these projects ranges from about $3,575 (low) to $5,621 (high), which is higher than that of sold projects.

Insights for Sellers

  1. MRR and Net Profit: While the average MRR and net profit are higher for projects that received offers compared to those sold, many projects in both categories have $0 MRR and net profit. This suggests that projects can be sold or receive offers even without significant revenue or profit, possibly due to other factors like potential, niche, technology, or community size.
  2. Listing Price: The average listing price (both low and high) is higher for projects that received offers than those that were sold. This could indicate that projects with higher perceived value or potential are more likely to attract offers.
  3. Setting Expectations: If you're looking to sell, a realistic range for the listing price might be around $1,000 to $5,000, with the understanding that higher-valued projects can attract more offers. However, this is contingent on the unique attributes of your project.
  4. Project Attributes: Factors like the uniqueness of the idea, community engagement, growth potential, and the technology used might play significant roles in attracting offers or leading to a sale.

Remember, these insights are generalizations based on the provided data and might not apply universally. Market conditions, the uniqueness of your project, and other external factors can significantly influence the likelihood of a sale or receiving offers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our data-driven journey through the realm of tiny project acquisitions has uncovered a wealth of insights for entrepreneurs and indie developers.

We've identified the most successful project categories and products, and highlighted the importance of MRR, net profit, and realistic listing prices in achieving acquisition success. These findings underscore the potential of even small-scale projects to attract serious interest and offers, provided they hit the right notes in market demand, innovation, and scalability.

Whether you're looking to sell a side project or invest in one, understanding these key dynamics can significantly enhance your strategies and outcomes in the vibrant world of tiny acquisitions.

Founder,
Stephen Campbell