It was announced yesterday that Seamless, the company that recently changed its name from Seamless Web, acquired MenuPages.com from New York Magazine. This news is exciting to me and I want to share why I think it’s exciting.
If you aren’t aware already, MenuPages is a helpful website that lists menus from restaurants in large cities and tourist hubs around the US and the world. The website started out as a resource for people to find menus from restaurants across New York City, and it grew pretty quickly. I’ve used Menu Pages for several years and probably use it more than any local, non-news website.
The reason I find this news exciting is that it shows that hard work and dedication to an online brand can lead to a big payday. If you create something useful to visitors and have them coming back to your site on a regular basis, there will always be someone that wants to pay a premium price for those eyeballs.
I don’t think MenuPages had a great revenue model, aside from Adsense monetization (if they did I missed it). The company probably didn’t make a ton of money. However, they had a huge audience of people that were ready to order dinner or lunch and visited frequently. That’s where Seamless comes in to the picture. Menu Pages didn’t offer the connectivity for people to order food, but Seamless does. I think Seamless will be able to better monetize the traffic than New York Magazine and the founders.
I’ve been asked about selling DogWalker.com a number of times, but I haven’t even considered selling. I don’t need the liquidity, and I do want the recurring revenue stream. However, if a large company that was in the industry would pay a premium because they could monetize it more than I could, then I would certainly consider selling. I would bet that within a few years, I will sell my portfolio of pet websites to a company that can better monetize the traffic. I don’t know who the buyer will be or when, but I bet it will happen.
If you are building a business, the current revenue is not necessarily the most important thing. Building something that people find useful should be the key, and the money will come in later if you’ve done that.
As a domain investor speaking to other domain investors though, I must urge you to have a look at Nat’s post from yesterday. It was well written and is something you need to consider.