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Apptopia to help app developers sell their wares

Friday, 6 January 2012 | By Michelle Hammond
Apptopia, a marketplace designed to help broker the sale of mobile apps, is to launch with the aim of providing an exit strategy for developers and an opportunity for other entrepreneurs.

 

The US-based site, founded by serial entrepreneurs Eliran Sapir and Jonathan Kay, will launch in February. Sapir is the founder of the once-popular iOS app GPush.

 

When Sapir decided to move on from GPush – once the 17th most popular app in the App Store –  he found there was no clear way for him to do so, setting in motion the idea for Apptopia.

 

Apptopia has already secured several hundred thousand dollars in seed funding, including $110,000 from Expansion VC, with the remainder bootstrapped by the founders.

 

“We came together because we believed what we could do with Apptopia would represent a shift in how people perceive mobile apps,” the founders say on their website.

 

“Apps are not just products that you buy for 99 cents. They are complete businesses with revenues, customers, technology and partners. A mobile app is an asset.”

 

“[However,] the same person who builds the product is not always the best person to also grow, support, market and monetise it.”

 

“The players who acknowledge that an app is not just a product, but a complete business, will be the ones who rise above the noise.”

 

“Apptopia is the marketplace that will broker the sale of these apps. We will manage the entire process through to completion, starting with recommending app valuation and connecting sellers [and] concluding with escrow services, code review, and interfacing with Apple and Google.”

 

Currently, app developers rely on sites such as eBay to sell off their apps.

 

One such developer is Neil Schmidt, who is selling his app on eBay for a starting price of $1 to escape the costs associated with the app.

 

Apptopia has already brokered the sale of one mobile app valued at more than $15,000, and has 30 more lined up for February’s launch.

 

The company will take 10% of each transaction price and expects to keep about 8%. The rest goes to credit card fees. Kay says the company expects sale prices of $5000 to $50,000, with most apps realistically selling for $6,000 to $15,000.

 

“I would expect that apps selling [in] the $100,000 range will be more likely to want to broker the deals themselves, and involve their own legal team,” Kay told TechCrunch.

 

There will also be a listing fee, designed to exclude apps with tiny user numbers.

 

“I don’t want a Frogger app with 700 users listing on the site as it will crowd the market and make it harder for serious buyers to find a profitable investment,” Kay said.

 

To kick off its launch, the first 200 developers who sign up will not have to pay the listing fee.