Get Your App Acquired eBay-Style on Apptopia

March 5, 2012

11:30 am

Apple announced Saturday that the app store had hit 25 billion downloads. But how many of those apps are fueling a thriving business, or even just making money?

Sometimes, app developers just want to move on to a new project, or hand over their free-but-popular baby to someone who can handle the monetization. That’s where Apptopia comes in.

Launching publicly in 3 weeks, Apptopia is a marketplace for selling apps to acquirers. Cofounder Eliran Sapir is a serial entrepreneur who struggled to sell his own app, GPush, and cofounder Jonathan Kay was the ambassador of buzz at Grasshopper. Both are committed to nurturing entrepreneurs: Sapir organizes hackathons, and Kay is a cofounder of the Barcamp Tour.

Here’s how Apptopia works for developers:

  • Log in with your Apple or Android account.
  • Enter basic information and set a price for your app. (If you’re unsure, Apptopia created a tool to help calculate a reasonable price.)
  • Approve the final ad, which automatically pulls in download data from Apple or Android (see below).
  • Wait for the bids to flow in. Apptopia has already helped sell 2 apps for $17,000 total (and is in the process of closing a “very big” deal), and the startup has enlisted acquirers including “a few Fortune 500 companies, and a handful of other household names.” If you score a sale, Apptopia will take a 15% cut, up from 10% for early adopters (the Cambridge, MA-based startup was founded last November).

For acquirers, they can buy or bid on apps, and take advantage of Apptopia’s various services: they verify app statistics, handle legal documents for both parties, do escrow, and offer advice.

The service will be free for developers for about a month, and afterward costs $50 to list an app. Find out more about Apptopia at Tech Cocktail’s SXSW #StartupLife Celebration.

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