Startup Sphere Weekly #7

$19,000/month selling personalized canvas art and a weather app selling for $360,000.

Welcome back to another edition of Startup Sphere.

In last week’s edition, I had a poll for which business readers would buy (given the funds). And the winner was (drumroll) 🥁🥁🥁 the Salesforce SaaS. I think that’s a great choice since the business is built on a well-established platform and generates a healthy profit.

Now let’s get into the businesses I found for sale this week.

AI-powered quiz platform

Asking Price: $240,000
Monthly Revenue: $9,000
Monthly Profit: $9,000

This business has only been around for 1 year, but is already bringing in close to $10,000 per month and is currently on sale for $240,000. The platform is an AI-powered quiz generator that revolutionizes how quizzes are created and experienced. It makes educators’ and quiz creators’ lives easier by introducing a simpler and quicker way to create quizzes. For example, you can type a topic and the tool will use AI to craft various questions, from which you can select and add to your online quiz. A major win for this business is that it can cater to both individuals (B2C) and companies (B2B). In my opinion, the effort is better spent selling higher-ticket plans to schools and companies. Competitors include companies like Quizgecko, Opexams, and QuestionWell. Some of these competitors are already well established, having their platform used in schools like USC, the University of Arizona, and Clark University.

E-commerce store that sells personalized canvas art

Asking Price: $225,000
Monthly Revenue: $19,000
Monthly Profit: $4,000

This business has sold over five million dollars worth of products since it started in 2017. The store sells personalized canvas and wall art. While there could be some difficulty competing with large printing brands like Shutterfly, the appeal of a store like this is that they handle the design process for you. So you don’t need to go out looking for a design you’d like, they have lots of options available for you. There are a lot of marketing opportunities in a space like this since you can have different collections for various interest groups. For example, you can have a collection of dog lovers, families, flags, religion, etc. You can then use Facebook and Google ads to target these specific niches and run ads showing the respective canvas art. You can even go more extreme and target political interests, since more obsessive and defensive over polarizing topics. The listing mentions that the main acquisition channels have been Facebook and Google ads. I also think there is an opportunity to grow this through influencer marketing, for example, mom blogs or entrepreneurship pages where you can sell inspirational quotes. Competitors include Sense For Decor, Family Gifts Co., and Tailored Canvases. My one downside with this business is the profit margin. This is potentially something to explore further.

User-friendly weather mobile app

Asking Price: $360,000
Monthly Revenue: $9,000
Monthly Profit: $6,000

Who says you need to reinvent the wheel to start a successful business? This business is a mobile app that does one thing well - it tells you the weather. I was surprised to see a business like this making over $100,000 per year, considering most people that I know get their weather from something like Accuweather or The Weather Channel. In my opinion, that is the biggest challenge of this business - getting people to open your weather app instead of another familiar name. The way businesses like this one do it is by providing the best user experience possible. The listing mentions that this business lets users customize their weather-tracking experience by providing 70 customizable widgets. This is something bigger players can’t keep up with, and it leaves the door open for businesses like this one. My biggest concern with this business would be staying competitive in a crowded market. Competitors include WeaWow, Windy, and Ventusky.

Weekly Poll

Given the funds, which of the above businesses would you buy?

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My Thoughts: I would be most interested in purchasing the AI-powered quiz platform. The space feels like it is ripe for disruption and there is a lot of product innovation that can be done to continuously grow the business. The canvas art store feels like it has potential, but there is a lot of competition and the profit margins look low. The weather app also seems cool, but I wouldn’t want to continuously be competing with giants like Accuweather.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Startup Sphere! Feel free to reply with any thoughts and feedback (it goes directly to my personal inbox). See you in the next one 👋.

— Vlad Verba

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