Three friends at Vermont’s Middlebury College founded and sold a laundry business called Middlebury Wash ‘N Carry. Now, decades later, the trio—Dennis Schaecher, Paul Wilcox and Robert Anderson—has co-founded Hatchit, an online marketplace for entrepreneurs and potential investors to buy and sell web-based businesses and assets.
The co-founders recognized a need for Hatchit, headquarted in the Research Triangle and started in January, when they noticed a lack of affordable platforms to help early-stage internet entrepreneurs.
“We all believe in entrepreneurship as a great way for people to get into business to have maybe more control over their life—their work life anyway—and offer more flexibility,” said Schaecher. “And so we thought what we wanted to do was get into a business that could help people more easily get into business for themselves, either as a primary or secondary source of income.”
Due to the coronavirus, users can currently join for free and list a business or asset on the site or browse through different listings by price, revenue and other criteria. Listings are priced anywhere from $20,000 to $5 million. Once the pandemic subsides, Schaecher said Hatchit will operate as a subscription service.
“Ultimately, with the overarching goal of trying to encourage and enable entrepreneurship, I think we want to build with that in mind,” Shaecher said. “So while we’re starting by offering a platform to buy and sell web-based businesses, we want to expand beyond that at some point hopefully to become sort of a Craigslist of entrepreneurial activities.”
Such activities could include selling businesses and assets in addition to finding partners, investors and business databases all in the goal of enabling entrepreneurship for everybody.
Currently bootstrapped, Hatchit has more than $100 million in value posted on the site and 240 listings.
“With the backdrop of the pandemic, it’s not an ideal time to start a business,” Schaecher said. “But despite all that it really seems to be taking hold, so we’re excited.”
Schaecher said it is hard to say how the buying user-base of Hatchit has been affected by the pandemic because they don’t have the history to tell, but it’s likely a smaller rate because of Covid-19.
“I would say that now is a tough time to be buying a business for a lot of people because of stock market decline and net worth decline and job loss and so forth,” Schaecher said. “That said, I think we’re in an interesting market going forward because most (listings) are internet-based businesses, which is attractive right now.”