Entrepreneurs Derek Morin and Bogdan Radu read in online forums that Shopify merchants lacked the ability to automate discounts.

To solve that, they founded Tabarnapp, a suite of Shopify apps.

The initial response proved they’d hit on a real pain point. “We got, like, 1,000 paid customers within four months after we launched,” Morin said.

Within six years of its 2016 start, Tabarnapp was generating over $1 million in annual revenue with 80% net margins. More than 60,000 stores had downloaded its flagship app, Automatic Discount, and the bootstrapped business had 2,500 recurring clients paying $10 to $1,000 monthly.

But creating an app that’s dependent on another platform comes with risk.

“We realized that at any point, because we were platform-dependent, we could go bankrupt or we could be disrupted by Shopify,” Morin said.

Changes to the platform — plus an increased competitive landscape — sparked the idea to sell the Canada-based company. Morin and Radu sold Tabarnapp to software company Staytuned, which acquires and scales Shopify tools, in November 2022 for mid-7 figures, Morin told us.

An interview on Built to Sell Radio put the sale price at around $4 million. Morin had acquired one of his partners’ stake in Tabarnapp in 2020, valuing the company at $400,000, and sold two years later for a tenfold increase, he said.

Selling Tabarnapp to Staytuned

Morin and Radu used a Switzerland-based broker that specializes in selling SaaS businesses, Array Capital, to find a buyer and process the deal.

“We closed within less than six months,” Morin said.

They hired the broker at the end of June 2022, had three offers by August and closed on the deal in November.

“Bogdan and I found a natural home for our business with Staytuned,” Morin said in a press release. “Their operating team is incredibly knowledgeable about Shopify, and they have decades of experience in e-commerce and SaaS software.”

The Tabarnapp founders partnered with Staytuned for a year after the sale to continue developing their apps. At the time of the sale, Tabarnapp’s only employee besides Morin and Bogdan was one part-time developer.

Finding a ‘Happy Ending’ after Tabarnapp

After the sale, Morin and Radu looked for a new opportunity to build apps for entrepreneurs. They launched ReplyChef.app to help influencers and small brands grow their social media audiences. They’re focusing on TikTok first and plan to expand to Instagram and YouTube.

Morin is also writing a book that shares his entrepreneurship journey and outlines how to sell a business within 24 months. He plans to self-publish the book, titled “Happy Ending,” on Amazon in early 2024 – first in French and potentially later in English.

Morin’s main advice for other founders looking to sell their businesses is to make a plan and put in the work to see it through.

“It won’t happen magically,” he said.