Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet Dion of Ackwired

Ackwired is a web startup marketplace where users can buy and sell established online businesses. Ackwired functions as an aggregator and an easy to use self-listing platform. Keep up with the company's latest news by following their Twitter feed.

1. What is the main purpose of Ackwired, and what inspired you to start it?

There are hundreds of millions of websites in the world, and as you would expect, there is an upwards trend towards businesses and individuals wanting to sell or acquire these websites. Being an end user of the current marketplaces that allow you to buy and sell websites, it was extremely time-consuming to find quality listings. As a user you had to spend huge amounts of time filtering through hundreds of over-priced, uninteresting, and fake listings just to find those few hidden gems.

It was then the idea of "Ackwired" was born.

We launched with the vision of providing our users (who are investors, entrepreneurs, and developers) with a marketplace that the lists only the most exciting websites and startups currently on the market.

2. Could you describe the curated experience provided by Ackwired and how this distinguishes it from other venues for buying and selling websites?

Providing quality listings to our users is our number one objective. We have developed a web crawler that searches through the internet to find all of the most interesting websites based on a variety of metrics including traffic, industry, activity, profitability, and pricing. Then, what differentiates Ackwired from its competitors is that every listing is reviewed, enhanced, and then approved by a real human being.

Obviously we also provide users with a platform to list their website for sale directly on Ackwired--however, we focus on established websites or exciting web startups. All of these listings go through the same review process. We work with business on copywriting and imagery to really promote their listing on Ackwired.

There is no other platform in the market that currently provides this kind of service.

3. What are some tips you recommend to people who want to establish a strong website to be able to sell it on your site?

We look for a range of criteria which can include the following.

--The length of time your website has been established for. We are looking for at least 12 months of operation.
--Do you have a quality engaged user base?
--We love bespoke websites that offer an innovative solution to a problem.
--We like websites that have a great idea, but maybe haven't been marketed to the best of their ability; they offer our buyers with some great opportunities.

We have recently written a blog post that dives into this subject in more detail.

4. Do you find that people have any misconceptions about buying and selling domains?

It's a big business as the value of a domain always goes up due to the ever-increasing demand for domains. It is a lot harder now, but buying a domain, placing some ads, and sitting on it for a few years before flipping it, used to be a great way to make money.

But if you are a serious entrepreneur, investing in a domain, building a website, and establishing a profitable business will return far greater results financially in the long run. It is a lot harder to do--and not everyone has the motivation and skills to do it.

At Ackwired we list very few domains for sale. We believe true value is in an established website with a proven or potentially viable business and revenue model. The existing marketplace for buying and selling purely domains is really cluttered at the moment. We believe the internet should be about quality websites providing quality information to its users; selling domains goes against what our company currently stands for.

5. What are your goals for the future of Ackwired, both in terms of developing your business and being able to give charitable contributions to organizations like Oxfam?

We have so many new features on the roadmap for Ackwired: it's a matter of researching the most valuable to our users and pushing them out. It's going to be a very exciting year for us. Some of our upcoming projects include multilingual support, private listings, as well as a specialized section for smart phone apps. We are also looking to sponsor a few web startup events around the world.

As our business grows, we hope to be able to raise awareness about the charities we support, and obviously continue to increase the donations we can make. We have a few incentive programs in the pipeline as well, to get more of our community on board in the not too distant future.

Thanks, Dion!

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