Meet The Investors That Back or Acquire Bootstrapped and Indie SaaS Companies
While VC’s focus on 10x’ing their position as quickly as possible, these investors focus on holding long-term positions in bootstrapped and indie companies.
When most people think of SaaS investments, they think of venture capital, Silicon Valley, million-dollar infusions, and 10x returns. But in reality, more and more entrepreneurs are skipping the Silicon Valley VC game and building, sustainable, remote, and profitable businesses by bootstrapping or taking minimal investment.
As more success stories come from these bootstrapped SaaS businesses, a new breed of investors and capital firms are following the trend. These firms are focused on investing in and acquiring bootstrapped and indie businesses. While VC’s focus on 10x’ing their position as quickly as possible, these investors focus on holding long-term positions in bootstrapped and indie companies.
We compiled a list of the most credible investors that are investing in or acquiring bootstrapped or indie SaaS companies. The following list is broken into three categories: Accelerators, Acquirers, and Investors.
TinySeed is a year-long, remote accelerator designed for early-stage SaaS founders.
Led by Rob Walling and Einar Vollset, TinySeed was born from MicroConf, the most trusted community for bootstrapped startup founders. While startup accelerators have become very common in the Venture Capital style companies, TinySeed is the first startup accelerator designed specifically for bootstrapped SaaS companies. Here is how they differ from traditional startup accelerators:
- The TinySeed program is remote and runs for a full year
- Founders are able to build a profitable company for the long-term
- Founders can choose to raise additional funding (or not) based on their goals
- They invest in various corporate structures (not just C-Corps)
- They focus on capital efficient, non-unicorn SaaS companies
TinySeed prides itself on the mentorship that the program provides. The full mentor list is quite impressive and includes some of the most well-known founders in the bootstrapping community. They have hosted two cohorts of companies (2019 & 2020) that include Squadcast, SavvyCal, and DocSketch.
The SaaS Group invests in established small to mid-sized SaaS companies and helps to take them to the next level.
Led by Tim Schumacher, Tim and his team are experienced SaaS entrepreneurs and operators. Tim co-founded Sedo.com, the world's largest domain marketplace. Since selling the company, he has become active as an entrepreneur and/or investor in various start-ups.
The SaaS Group team prides themselves on their ability to grow SaaS businesses. By focusing on customer value, content marketing, and conversion chain optimization, they are taking proven SaaS businesses to the next level.
Their portfolio includes a mix of social media & developer tool SaaS companies. A few notable portfolio companies include Juicer, Prerender, and Sniply.
Tiny Capital gives founders simple exits that protect their team and keep their businesses operating.
Led by Andrew Wilkinson & Chris Sparling, Tiny Capital prides itself on moving quickly and providing founders quick, straightforward exits. The Tiny Capital team responds to inquiries in 48 hours, delivers an offer in 7 days, and closes the deal within a month.
Tiny Capital looks for SaaS companies that are bootstrapped or "having raised some money and built a good business (profitable between $250k-$30M) with serious revenue and maybe some profit."
Tiny Capital has invested or bought over 70 companies since 2006. Their portfolio contains a wide variety of companies including Dribble, Castro Podcast Player, We Work Remotely, and MetaLab.
SureSwift Capital acquires SaaS businesses from independent founders and takes them to the next stage of growth.
Led by Kevin McArdle, SureSwift Capital prides itself on being great stewards of the businesses they acquire. They boast an impressive team that covers all areas of SaaS operations. SureSwift ensures that your customers and your team will be taken care of. Their business model is to own and grow SaaS businesses by providing exceptional value to your current and future customers.
SureSwift's portfolio contains both B2B and B2C SaaS companies. Their B2B portfolio companies include My Site Auditor, Docparser, and Store Mapper.
Earnest Capital provides early-stage funding, resources, and a network of experienced advisors to founders building sustainable profitable businesses.
Led by Tyler Tringas, Earnest capital is re-thinking the idea of an early-stage fund from top to bottom. Their mission is to maximize the number of successful internet entrepreneurs in the world.
Earnest Capital invests via a Shared Earnings Agreement, a new investment model developed transparently with the founder community. It's designed to align with founders who want to run a profitable business and never want to be forced to raise follow-on financing or sell. Earnest prides itself on thinking differently, practicing radical transparency, and connecting their companies with mentors and other entrepreneurs that have skin in the game.
Indie.vc is a program designed to fund and support founders on a path to profitability.
Led by Bryce Roberts, Indie.vc believes deeply that there are hundreds, even thousands, of businesses that could be thriving, at scale, if they focused on revenue growth over raising another round of funding. On average, the companies Indie.vc has backed have increased revenues over 100% in the first 12 months of the program and around 300% after 24 months post-investment.
Indie.vc also believes that founders should spend more time with customers than investors. They have created a transparent investment process designed to be fast, friendly, and focused which you can view here.
Their portfolio companies span a wide range of B2B and B2C. Their latest cohort (V4) includes Billiyo, Curie, and Unboxt.
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