CrowdMnA: Robert Gorton
Name: Robert Gorton
Company Name: CrowdMnA
Date Launched: 02/10/18
Robert Gorton, a businessman dedicated to the UK tech sector, shares how his startup is positively contributing towards the digital industry: CrowdMnA provides an exciting new marketplace for entrepreneurs to buy and sell digital and IT ventures at any developmental stage. Plus, the entire process is conducted online – read on to find out more…
Tell us what your business does:
CrowdMnA.com is a marketplace for the entire online sale process of IT, digital and technology ventures, often considered too early (prototype, pre-users, pre-revenue as well as trading), uneconomical or difficult to sell.
The marketplace also leverages the networking power of crowdsourcing to enable sellers to incentivise thousands of business executives and IT professionals to use their connections to source acquirers.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Having operated in the digital and technology sector for the last twenty years, I have seen many business ventures unable to find a buyer, to then be aborted at early stages before reaching their full potential. This occurs for many valid reasons, yet such ventures often possess significant value, i.e: deep intellectual property or having developed a valuable market advantage.
I wanted to create a marketplace dedicated to IT, digital and technological ventures. Importantly, the marketplace was to incorporate ventures at all stages of their development; from prototype and pre-revenue to fully-fledged trading businesses.
I also wanted CrowdMnA.com to enable a sale to be completed entirely online, with access to free legal agreements to save the parties fees, so any size venture can be sold.
Finally, I envisaged a marketplace that uses the networking power of crowdsourcing to enable sellers to incentivise thousands of business and technology executives to introduce potential buyers, ensuring no stone is left unturned!
How did you know there was a market for it?
There has not previously been a dedicated online marketplace for UK businesses in the IT, digital and technology sector, let alone one that would enable the sale of early stage ventures where the entire transaction can be completed online. I saw a gap in the market and went for it.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was formerly a venture capitalist for a technology fund in London. Following this I founded a first-of-its-kind online marketplace, which I grew and sold to a large international media company.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always been a strong advocate of the UK technology sector and its innovation and I see CrowdMnA.com as a missing part of the technology ecosystem.
CrowdMnA is adding liquidity to the whole development life cycle of technology companies, starting at the prototype stage by enabling the sale of ventures that are not conventional or mature businesses. Such liquidity is essential to enabling hard working and skilled founders to realise funds for vital reinvestment back into the sector or their next venture.
How did you raise the money?
CrowdMnA.com has not raised any external funding to date.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Sellers can display their ventures and businesses for free on CrowdMnA and access free legal documents to complete a transaction. Upon the completion of sales, we charge a success fee of 5% of sale proceeds.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The website build presented a number of challenges to ensure that the entire transaction can be completed online using CrowdMnA’s platform: from the initial venture evaluation, to bid and sale price acceptance in a public auction or private sale.
The exchange of the venture’s assets for the agreed price is also completed online using a Financial Conduct Authority approved escrow service. The escrow service is important in safeguarding both the seller and buyer during the exchange of the venture’s assets and the transfer of the sale price.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Seeing the first seller post a venture for sale on CrowdMnA.com!
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Take the lid off the paint pot! By this I mean great things cannot happen until you try, to try you have to start with an easy first step. Make sure your selected venture is something that you passionately believe in, as when you encounter the inevitable challenging days ahead, it is your passion and belief that will carry you through.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
I hope I am able to continue working with fast growth digital and technology businesses in the UK. For CrowdMnA.com, I get great satisfaction every time I see a founder realise value for the hard work and expertise that they have invested in their venture and even more so, when it enables them go again with their next startup!