11 y/o Crowdfunding Site Making $550k/year
28 Million Pageviews Annually
San Francisco, CA
Established in 2005, MyFreeImplants (MFI) is a breast augmentation financing marketplace. By allowing users to crowdfund their cosmetic surgery expenses, MFI provides an alternative to expensive cosmetic surgery loans. Over the last 10 years, the business has helped almost 1,300 women achieve their goal and processed nearly $13M in transactions.
The business has had over 600,000 users and has received coverage from CNN, BBC, Colbert, NBC, ABC and more, including two different 1-hour documentaries. The sale of MFI includes 34 domains, approximately $700k cash, all social media accounts, a mailing list with 600,000 users, and an extensive customer database full of historical data.
With a quality service, an established user base, and a recognizable brand, the new owner will be ideally positioned to take this business to new heights.
MFI derives its revenue through a number of sources. The business generates revenue via a 25% service charge on all donations to models. The business also operates a three-tier monthly subscription revenue model, and the subscription levels are priced at $4.95, $9.95, and $14.95. The subscriptions give donors access to additional features like private pics, webcam video & audio streaming, and live chat. Additionally, user message credits are sold for $1.20 per credit. Lastly, the business generates interest income from the funds being held for users.
Currently, the owners spend approximately 15 hours a week running the business. This time is primarily spent managing technical development, answering advanced customer service tickets, managing finances, and marketing/media requests. The business is also serviced by 1 freelance customer service specialist and 1 freelance developer. All outsourcing costs are accounted for on the P&L.
There are several growth strategies that present very exciting opportunities for the new owner. The quickest win would be improving the business’ social media presence. An enhanced social media focus could generate more traffic and therefore customers to the platform.
The creation of a mobile app is another very promising growth opportunity because it will enhance donor/model communication and enhance user engagement. Anything that facilitates quicker communication between models & donors will boost sales. In addition, many models struggle to upload images on their mobile devices, and images also lead to higher sales.
Another growth opportunity would be to monetize the webpage via Adsense or other advertising networks. Additionally, the owner could use affiliate programs to bring more paying customers into the business.
In 2015, the business generated $195,237.51 in Interest Income. MFI has a long term arrangement with a real estate firm that pays a generous interest rate on funds the business holds in its name. While it is possible they could extend the offer to the new owner, but this is not guaranteed.
The sale of MFI includes the approximately $700,000 that is “in play” on the platform. That's money that is either in an active model account or an active donor account. Eventually this money may get paid out to a surgeon, but in the meantime, it is available to earn interest on. It’s worth noting that if both a model and a donor account go inactive any funds held in their accounts effectively increase the company’s bottom line since there is no longer an active owner. The Revenue from suspended donations is a one time adjustment on the books at the end of the year. Per the monthly statement, it is broken up into quarterly adjustments to more accurately reflect how the adjustment should happen.
Please state your full name and company name, if it’s a corporate entity selling the website
Please briefly describe the business model
Crowd-funding for boob jobs. Yes, really!
When was the business established?
How has the business evolved since it was first established?
We’ve gone through 2 major redesigns, and 1 complete platform overhaul to better handle traffic volumes. We’ve helped almost 1,300 women achieve their goal and processed nearly $13M in transactions during in the last 10 years.
Who is your typical customer?
Men with disposable income seeking online entertainment and authentic engagement with “the girl next door.”
Are you the original owner of the business? If not, when did you purchase it and how has it evolved since?
Yes, original owner.
Why is the business being sold?
Going on 11 years and I’m ready to move on and explore new opportunities. I feel like keeping MFI is preventing me from focusing on other interests.
Are there any skills / knowledge required to successfully run this business? If so, please explain.
The person/people that take over should poses good communication skills to interact with the customers and to keep them informed of any relative updates. This also includes good customer support skills. Being well organized is important to keep surgery payments on track. From a technical POV, I would recommend at least one person have some basic relational database knowledge and understand the relationships between data tables.
Please list all domain names that are included in the sale
Are there any social media accounts included in the sale? If so, please list them along with the URLs to such accounts.
http://twitter.com/myfreeimplants is the only one currently in operation, but it’s rarely used, and is basically just a cross-post from the websites blog.
Are there any mailing lists included in the sale? If so, which service providers are such lists held with and how many subscribers do they have?
We will run ad-hoc email campaigns via emailbrain.com. The entire database of users is included in the sale and includes ~600,000 accounts (200K donors, 400K models). Note: not all accounts are still active users, but there are still email-able.
Does the sale include existing customer data? If so, in which format is this provided and how extensive is the customer database?
Yes, all 11 years of data is stored in a MS SQL database and easy enough to query. We have many built-in reports that we have accumulated over the years, but with a little SQL knowledge you can build any report you can imagine. Just to give you an idea the database is 51GB in size.
TRAFFIC & MARKETING
What are the primary traffic sources of the site?
Word of mouth is huge for us. Nearly every woman that wants free implants is constantly telling her social circle to come help her reach her goal. This brings both donors and new models alike, and those new models complete the cycle – telling their social circle.
We also (still) get fairly regular media coverage, often from very big news organizations. We’ve been covered by just about every major news network including CNN, Fox News as well as local affiliates for the top networks ABC, CBS, NBC. We’ve had countless radio interviews around the world including Playboy radio (Sirius XM) multiple times. We’ve been featured on popular shows including The Colbert Report, Tyra Banks talk show, & Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Finally, we’ve had 2 hour-length documentaries that aired multiple times all across Europe, one for Virgin 1, and another for BBC.
We have been approached multiple times to film pilots for a reality TV show, none have panned out yet, but it’s a potential opportunity with the right concept & producer. We would be happy to pass along the contact info for the last producer that approached us.
Have you done any Search Engine Optimization?
Yes, we are the #1 result for “free breast implants” or “free boob job” this brings in the traffic of models who then in turn recruit donors and more models via word of mouth (see above).
To your knowledge, has the site ever received any search engine penalties (manual or algorithmic)?
No. We just recently upgraded the site to run entirely over HTTPS to comply with Google’s recommendations. For a period of about 24 hours we weren’t using the correct 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS, but that was resolved and everything is nominal again.
We get lots of inbound traffic from very reputable sources (see the media overview above) so our ranking is 100% whitehat.
What level of SEO effort is required for the site to maintain its current traffic levels?
Minimal. There are no other competitors in our unique space.
Do you or have you ever purchased traffic? If so, please provide a brief overview
We ran a few ad campaigns many years ago, but our margins are pretty small so we couldn’t justify the cost. Someone with more experience in this area could probably improve upon our results with better targeting and/or an affiliate program.
Do you run any other marketing campaigns, such as display advertising, social media marketing, offline advertising or anything else?
How does the site rank for related keywords?
Which payment processor(s) does the website utilize?
Please confirm that all revenue sources are transferable to the new owner
Everything with the exception of our investment revenue source. We have a long term arrangement with a real estate firm that pays us a generous interest rate on funds we hold in their name. It’s possible they would extend the offer to the next owner, but obviously I can’t guarantee it. Regardless, there are other interest bearing opportunities that will at the very least come close to matching that particular revenue source. MFI in some ways looks like a long-term escrow company so there are literally hundreds of thousands of dollars available to earn a return on.
Are you able to provide live revenue verification?
We can provide weekly credit card statement.
Is the website’s revenue kept separate from other businesses and/or personal accounts?
Yes. We have two main business checking accounts, one for model surgery payments, one for company operations. In addition, we have our investment accounts (see above).
Can the website’s revenue be accurately tracked back to the website, i.e. do payment descriptions/details include the website’s name or reference to the website’s products?
Yes. The payment description is “MFI LLC” in order to provide a level of privacy to the donors (note: this was something they requested). Everyone in the community refers to it as MFI for short so there is no ambiguity.
Please provide a brief overview of pricing and how has it evolved over the last 12 months?
There are 3 subscription levels ($4.95, $9.95, $14.95). There are message credits which sell for $1.20 each (on average). And there are donations which have a 25% service charge. The bulk of model contributions come through donations. The service charge started out at 15%, in late 2008 it was increased to 19%. Recently it was increased again to 25%
We also recently integrated bitcoin payment options, this hasn’t seen a huge uptake yet but there is an opportunity to offer a discounted bitcoin rate to increase the profit margin on donations (since you would be bypassing all credit card fees).
What is the site’s average Refund/Chargeback rate over the last 12 months? What is the primary reason for refund requests?
0%. The donors develop friendships with the people they contribute to, so we are fortunate enough to have a community that genuinely cares about helping out their friends. We also have a generous policy where donors can recycle their funds for any model that abandons her donations. This not only keep chargebacks down, but also helps with retention since donors don’t want to leave their unclaimed funds.
What are the main expenses of the business?
Owners salaries, outside developers, website hosting. All of which provide adequate opportunity to increase net profits.
What is the approximate breakdown of clients by different price levels?
If we look just as the subscription revenue model it breaks down as such:
295 users at the $14.95 level
52 at the $9.95 level
100 at the $4.95 level
As previously mentioned there are other “products” for sale. However due to the fact that donations can be of any amount between $10 and $1000, the breakdown by tiers isn’t as clear cut. If you have a special request for a specific report across donations and/or messages we can run those numbers as needed.
If necessary, do you have tax returns available to support your revenue claims?
Yes, going back all 10 years.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
How much time, on average, does it take to operate and maintain the site, per week?
Customer service spends ~20 hrs a week and handles most of the day-to-day operations. There is probably another 15 hours/week spread out among the two founders. If it were one person taking over with a decent technical background, it could easily be a one-man/woman operation with a very comfortable salary. It’s also worth pointing out that the entire business is location agnostic and can be run from just a laptop and a wifi signal.
Please list all owner’s responsibilities
One technical founder manages development and handles more advanced customer support requests as well as custom queries/reports. The other has a business background and handles financials as well as email marketing and most media requests.
Does the owner of the site need any specific skillsets in order to successfully maintain and manage the site?
Ideally they would have a basic understanding of SQL relational databases (MS-SQL in particular). ZenDesk experience would be another plus (although easy enough to learn).
How do you handle customer support and what is the average volume?
Everything routes through ZenDesk. ~500 tickets a month
Do you employ any people or use any freelancers and if so, are such contracts accounted for on the Profit & Loss Statement and transferable to the new owner?
Our current customer support person is freelance, she would probably be available to the new owners. Also we use a freelance developer. He is not aware of the sale so I’m not sure if he would transition over to the new owners or not, I would guess an 85% likelihood that he would. All contracts are accounted for in the P&L.
What platform does the website use? (e.g. WordPress, OpenCart, OSCommerce, etc.)
ASP.NET, MS-SQL, WordPress, ZenDesk
Where is the site hosted and does this need to change after purchase?
ServerIntellect. It could remain where it is, there may be some cost savings benefits to moving it to AWS (or other cloud providers), but it’s not necessary at this point.
Please describe your main competitors
No direct competitors, but you might consider any webcam site (i.e. myfreecams) an indirect competitor.
What makes the website better than its competition?
MFI focuses on building lasting friendships between the models and the donors. The average model spends ~6 months on the site trying to reach her goal so she is in constant communication with her friends/donors throughout the process. This kind of friendship is practically non-existent on cam sites . One other unique aspect is that in MFI, the women chase the men which is a very different dichotomy than most are used to. This is a very appealing aspect to our audience.
Do you own any other internet-based businesses? If so, are any of them related to the website being sold?
Are you willing to sign a 3-year non-compete contract in the industry that the website operates in?
Will you provide 1-3 months of post-sale support & training, in order to ensure that the buyer is able to fully take over the business and its operations?
Yes, provided the payment can be arranged in such a way that I am compensated for my time. If you choose to hire the freelance customer support person she would also be an asset to you during the transition.
What are the primary growth opportunities that you see for the business going forward?
A mobile app would be huge. Anything that keeps the donors and models connected is a huge win.
Improved social media marketing could bring a lot more traffic and improve customer communications/engagement.
Advertising is a relatively un-tapped market. There are lots of women with lots of available “eye-ball time” to push ads to.
Affiliate programs to bring more paying customers into the business.
Better utilization of email lists.
Localization into other languages (German & Spanish in particular) could add lots of value and reach an entirely new customer base.
Expanding to allow for surgeries other than just breast-augmentations.
PR, especially if you can get the Reality TV show off the ground.
Are there any geographical limitations to the potential buyer of the business?
No, the entire business is location-agnostic.
Do you have anything to add to the above?
MyFreeImplants is a unique business opportunity that is a real conversation starter!