Chris & Artur of Extendify: WordPress Networking Strategies to Find a ‘Best Fit’ Buyer — Freemius

Chris and Artur On Moving to the WordPress Universe

I think we both had the opportunity to get a good, behind-the-scenes look into Automattic’s business model. But our roles were also focused on identifying opportunities across the WordPress universe, which allowed us to get a broad overview of the ecosystem.

A demo of Extendify’s page builder

Acquirers in WordPress Favor WordPress Products

We’re only looking for WordPress pedigrees here’

When financial investors in WordPress want to set up a strategic acquisition or extend their product sets, they tend to look within WordPress.


How Has Extendify Navigated Acquisitions in WordPress?

The Two Types of Acquirers: Financial and Strategic

While financial acquirers are definitely considering potential revenue, growth opportunities, and even some operational enhancements to optimize cash flow, what they’re really wondering about is the payback period and how the business will grow in that time.

Should You Target a Financial or Strategic Buyer?

If what you offer is more generic, you might not be number one in your field, but you might have, say, 80% EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) margins. In this case, a financial acquirer will probably lean heavily in your favor because there is some metric of financial performance.

The First Step of the WordPress Acquisition Process for Sellers

  • Figured out your needs as a seller;
  • Determined whether your sales objectives are better served with a financial or strategic buyer and structured your exit accordingly, and;
  • Gained a solid understanding of what you should be optimizing for to get the best outcome, it’s time to learn the subtle art of…

WordPress Networking: Identifying and Connecting With Potential Acquirers

How and When Should a Seller Reach Out to Potential Buyers?

Pick up the phone. It’s really strange that more people don’t do this. When you message someone on Slack who you’ve never spoken with to ask if they’d be interested in buying your business, it’s not only impersonal, but it makes things difficult on both sides.

WordPress Networking While Building Your Business — Where to Start?

How Is Outreach Different in WordPress Versus Other Markets?

If you’re thinking about potentially selling your business — whether now or in a few years — just ping a few folks. Start chatting and sharing about your business, learn about their priorities and initiatives, and try to build that network. When the time comes for you to reach out and have a more explicit conversation, you will already have established a trusting relationship.

For smaller product owners, it’s literally about reaching out to learn about one another’s products or to ask for feedback. But if you’re talking to a large company, I think that’s where you really want to come prepared with a game plan. Larger organizations will have a corporate development team that manages acquisitions and, in some cases, also partnerships.

Is Hiring a Broker the Smarter Option for WordPress Networking?

Understanding Your Buyer’s Strategic Priorities

Let’s say you’re an eCommerce business and you’re considering a sale to a potential host. And you know that host doesn’t actually want to own a bunch of disparate WooCommerce extensions. What they really want is to build out a better eCommerce experience for their user base.

Make sure there’s an alignment and a good fit so that you don’t have regrets after closing the deal.


Buyers or Sellers: Who Stands to Benefit Most From the Recent Mergers and Acquisitions Trend?

What Does the Future Hold for the WordPress Acquisitions Landscape?

I don’t know what’s driving that. But I can see an opportunity, you know, to think more broadly beyond the WordPress ecosystem, specifically on where there might be a potential fit.



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