One of the biggest marketplaces for Bootstrap (bootstrapbay.com) is acquired by Creative Tim.
1. Why we wanted to acquire this marketplace
It all started 2 years ago when our startup www.creative-tim.com was in the “generating money but not enough to sustain a business” mode. We’ve seen that there were a lot of people interested in our freebies but that was not enough for us to pay our expenses. We only had one Premium Product called GSD Kit PRO. If you want to check the whole story about how we started, please read this article. So, what do you do when you want to grow a business? You look around at bigger businesses from which you can get inspiration. We knew Chris, the co-founder of BootstrapBay.com from Franco Varriano. Franco also helped us in the beginning with a lot of Marketing and Growth tips which we used and then he introduced us to Chris, back in November 2014. Here is the winning email 😎
We’ve always seen Chris as a cool guy and also a very motivational person; someone we can learn a lot from. So in January 2015, we had our first interview with Chris, where he gave us some information about how he is growing his marketplace and what strategies he is using in that moment. The interview can be seen here: Working on the Best Bootstrap Resources.
We also wanted to transform creative-tim.com in a 2 sided Marketplace but we faced the Chicken/Egg problem: You need content to attract visitors to your website, but you need visitors to convince content creators to publish their work on your marketplace. So where do you start? Chris had a great idea, he started to generate visits by writing great content on BootstrapBay’s blog. In this way, he solved the visitors’ problem. In the meantime, they also created the first 3 themes inside their team so they can have some content for those visitors. The whole story about how Chris created a marketplace with over $10.000 in monthly revenue can be found on his personal blog: How We Bootstrapped a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10k/mo in Revenue.
2. How this acquisition will help us deliver great products to a bigger audience of developers
Since the launch of creative-tim.com, our mission was to help web developers create better websites with less effort. We always shared good looking and user-friendly freebies UI kits and Dashboards that we’ve created and used as the starting base for our web agency’s projects.
We recently migrated some of our most popular freebies, which have over 200.000 downloads in total, to MIT License. Why are we licensing under MIT some products that took us hundred of hours and months of development and iterations? Because we want to help the developer community. Period. You can view, contribute, use them for commercial products and play with them on Creative Tim Official Github.
We will migrate all of them soon. Back to BootstrapBay, it has 2x more traffic than Creative Tim, and over 80% of that traffic is going to tutorials for web developers.
That means there are a lot of people who want to learn and we want to help them in their journey. If we set for them high standards of design and quality, then, all their future work will be at least as good as our products. So our mission will continue with this new acquisition.
3. What will happen in future with the marketplace, the creators and the customers
As we said, bootstrapbay.com is a two-sided marketplace. That means the creators are as important as the visitors/buyers, so we need to find ways to keep both parties happy. So, for the creators who want to achieve more (better products, more sales etc.) we are preparing some special accounts on creative-tim.com and they will:
- have free access to all resources (valued at over $2.100). You can see them here: https://www.creative-tim.com/product/buy/bundle
- be able to create the future products using our products as the base framework.
- receive constant feedback from our specialized team in order to improve their work.
For the visitors and buyers we are working on:
- a major redesign, which will make bootstrapbay.com more user-friendly
- a review system so they can view the quality of a template based on different criteria such as code quality, design, support etc.
- a system for comments, where they will be able to talk directly with the creators and help each other
- New Bootstrap 4 Templates and new creators
We are also going to invest a lot in marketing and continue the creation of tutorials for web developers.
We are very happy with BootstrapBay joining our family. You can check it here:
If you have any suggestions, we would be glad to talk in the comments. You can also get in touch with us via Email, Twitter or Facebook. If you want to say something to Chris you can find him on Twitter. Don’t forget to check his new startup Snappa 👌🏼