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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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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