Danny Postma, founder of Headlime, a copywriting SaaS startup, spent his early 20s backpacking through Asia while teaching himself to code.

Inspired by the indie hacking culture at his Bali co-working space, Postma eventually moved to the island full time. That’s where he began bootstrapping Headlime in June 2020 while in lockdown due to the pandemic, he wrote in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Indie Hackers.

Less than a year later, he sold the copywriting Saas startup to Conversion.ai for seven figures.

Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs “bootstrapping [their] own startup[s] and working towards financial independence was really inspirational,” Postma said in an interview with Founded In Groningen. “No team, no investments, just you, making cool things that you sell directly to your customers as a SaaS product.”

From ebook to SaaS tool: Headlime’s ride to exit

While brainstorming a list of potential coding projects, Postma remembered that he and a friend had once written a book of headline templates. “We sold it for $19,” he wrote in his Indie Hackers AMA. “I thought to myself, if I’d turn that into a MicroSaaS, I could charge that price per month instead of once.”

Postma launched Headlime as a tool that suggested 200+ headlines for sales pages and blogs, he told Founded in Groningen. From there, Headlime evolved into an AI copywriting service that charged users a monthly fee for access to the software.

On March 17, 2021, Headlime was mentioned in a TechCrunch article. And that’s when “things really exploded,” Postma told Founded in Groningen. “Month-over-month growth was something like 100%.” At this point, Headlime’s team included a copywriter and a customer support representative, in addition to Postma, according to the company’s About page.

Shortly after this explosive growth, Postma began hearing from companies interested in acquiring Headlime. The acquisition process moved quickly with buyer Coversion.ai; due diligence was just a week, finalizing the legal documents took two weeks, and then it was another week or two to transfer the assets, he wrote in his Indie Hackers thread.

Conversion.ai is an SaaS startup that has some similarities to Headlime; it automatically curates website content, social media copy and books. Its founders knew about Headlime because they’d followed Postma on Twitter, which he’d used for marketing.

Postma announced the deal in a tweet on March 30, 2021. The terms were not disclosed, though Postma’s Indie Hackers thread is titled “Zero to 7-Figure Exit.” When Postma was asked directly about MRR or acquisition price in the thread, he replied with “🤐🤐🤐😅.”

Pieter Levels, founder of Nomad List and Remote OK, estimated in a tweet that the acquisition price was around $1 million based on his calculation of Headlime’s $20,000 MRR (monthly recurring revenue) multiplied by 12 months and his estimated 4x valuation.

While Postma did not launch Headlime with the intent of being acquired, he ultimately chose to sell because he didn’t want to raise funding or manage a larger team.

“Regarding selling, I had 3 options: 1. Get funding, work 80 hours a week. 2. Bootstrap, but hire employees. 3. Sell for a life-changing amount of money,” he wrote in his Indie Hackers acquisition thread. “Option 3 fits the best with the future plans I’ve always had in mind.”

Postma will remain onboard to assist Conversion.ai in a strategic role, he said in his Twitter thread announcing the deal. Post-acquisition, “The biggest change though is that my mind finally, after years, feels calm again,” Postma said on Indie Hackers.

Postma’s Twitter bio says he’s “building Web3 stuff” and overseeing Rareblocks, an ecommerce UI kit and upcoming marketplace for Tailwind CSS and NFT sales. He did not respond to requests for comment for this story.