Investors Club and Acquire are both marketplaces for buying and selling websites or online businesses. While their aim is to serve both buyers and sellers, they each take very different approaches.
This article covers all the essential details of these two platforms so you can determine which one is right for you. Read on to see how these platforms compare in critical ways like security, selection, and services.
Investors Club vs. Acquire Summary
The differences between Investors Club and Acquire include:
- Curation: Investors Club is a curated marketplace with fewer listings than Acquire, which is a more open marketplace. The curated approach allows Investors Club to manage and maintain listing quality.
- Focus: More than half of the listings at Acquire.com are SaaS (software as a service) businesses, and only about 1% are content sites. Investors Club focuses on content and e-commerce websites.
- Verification: The Investors Club team manually verifies every listing’s traffic and revenue to protect buyers and maintain quality. Acquire uses an automated approach with no manual verification.
- Valuation: Sellers at Acquire determine their own asking price for their listings. Many ask prices and multiples that don’t conform with industry standards. Investors Club, on the other hand, determines the appropriate asking price, with seller feedback, for its listings, resulting in more consistent pricing.
Investors Club Overview
Investors Club, launched in 2020, is a curated marketplace for buying and selling websites and online businesses. You can buy or sell content and e-commerce sites (including dropshipping, Amazon FBA, print on demand, etc.) at Investors Club.
Every listing published at Investors Club has been manually verified and vetted. Only sellers and sites that pass the verification and vetting process are listed and sold on the platform. This differs from open marketplaces like Flippa and Acquire that accept nearly any website or online business.
The curated approach at Investors Club results in fewer listings, but higher quality. Buyers can browse the entire catalog of listings, which simply isn’t possible at Flippa or Acquire. This helps buyers save time while also providing sellers with better exposure than they might get at those larger marketplaces, where they are buried by thousands of other listings.
While some marketplaces and brokers ignore listings below $100,000, Investors Club does not. There are many listings priced at $20,000 – $100,000, which is ideal for individual investors and first-time buyers. Investors Club also offers some listings in the six-to-seven-figure range.
Investors Club stands out from competitors by offering excellent value through white glove services and low fees. Its flat 7% success fee is among the lowest in the industry, and sellers only pay fees if the site sells — they don’t have to pay listing fees.
Buyers and sellers love Investors Club because of the free legal documents, free escrow service, and free migration assistance. Other marketplaces like Flippa and Acquire charge extra for some of these services, or don’t offer them at all.
Acquire also launched in 2020, although it was known as MicroAcquire at the time. In January 2022, the company rebranded to Acquire. This popular platform promotes itself as being a marketplace for startups, although it doesn’t define what the company considers a startup.
More than half of the listings at Acquire are for SaaS businesses; e-commerce is the second-most popular listing on the platform. Other listings include agencies, apps, and content-based websites.
As an open marketplace, anyone can create an account and list their business for sale on Acquire.com. While the company reviews listings to some extent, their requirements are unclear and nearly any legitimate listing is allowed. They suggest not listing pre-revenue startups; however, you’ll find some pre-revenue listings on the marketplace. Acquire’s requirements state they’ll reject listings with unverifiable ownership, SSL issues, and coming-soon pages.
With almost 2,000 listings, Acquire is a massive marketplace. The sheer number of listings can present challenges for buyers who want to find the right opportunity but don’t have the time to browse thousands of listings. The number of listings also makes it difficult for sellers to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
While Investors Club takes a more hands-on approach, Acquire is less involved with buyers and sellers. Most of the verification process is automated, and there’s no assistance transferring the business from seller to buyer.
Now, let’s look at how these two marketplaces compare in specific areas.
Types of Websites and Businesses Listed
Investors Club primarily lists content and e-commerce websites. Content websites include niche sites, affiliate sites, and blogs. E-commerce websites include Amazon FBA, dropshipping, print on demand, and subscription boxes. Investors Club typically doesn’t list other business models like SaaS, agencies, and service providers.
SaaS businesses are the most popular listings at Acquire by number of listings. E-commerce businesses are also popular. Other types of listings include agencies, mobile apps, and content websites.
While content sites are the most common type of listing at Investors Club, they make up only about 1% of the listings at Acquire. And while SaaS businesses make up more than half of the listings at Acquire, there are none at Investors Club. As a result, the type of website or business you want to buy or sell will significantly influence your choice between these marketplaces.
The table below shows the breakdown of business types at each marketplace at the time of writing:
|Types of Businesses Listed
Typical Price Range
To qualify to be listed on Investors Club, sites must make at least $500 per month, plus have at least six months of verifiable traffic and revenue. E-commerce websites must make $1,000 per month with 12 months of verifiable history. This is significantly lower than the requirements of many other brokers and marketplaces, which leads to some lower-priced listings.
Investors Club includes a mix of listings below and above $100,000. The low end is around $10,000, with a sweet spot between $20,000 – $75,000. There are also a few seven-figure listings.
Many other marketplaces, like Empire Flippers, focus exclusively on six- and seven-figure listings. Investors Club stands out as an excellent resource for buyers looking to spend less than $100,000, while also offering options for buyers in higher price ranges.
Acquire currently doesn’t have minimum requirements for listings. Company founder and CEO Andrew Gazdecki posted on X (formerly Twitter) about possibly implementing a minimum annual revenue requirement of $25,000, but that isn’t in place yet. For now, sellers of pre-revenue startups and other non-revenue generating online businesses can use Acquire.
The range of prices at Acquire goes from a few thousand to a few million dollars,with many listings priced below $100,000. When comparing listing prices, you should be warned that Acquire sellers determine their own asking price, and some are unrealistically high (more details in the Valuation section).
The table below shows the breakdown of listing prices at each marketplace at the time of writing:
|Listing Price Ranges
|Micro (less than $10k)
|Small ($10k – $100k)
|Medium ($100k – $1 million)
|Large (over $1 million)
Quantity and Quality of Listings
Investors Club maintains high quality by manually verifying every listing. Only those that pass the verification and vetting process are listed on the site. While this approach reduces the number of listings, it offers several benefits:
- Buyers and sellers are protected from scams and deceptive listings.
- Buyers don’t have to spend countless hours browsing through a huge number of listings to find what they want.
- Seller listings can stand out and get the attention they deserve, rather than competing with hundreds or thousands of other listings.
- The consistency across the marketplace is improved.
Potential buyers can create an account at Investors Club to browse listings and receive notifications of new listings and price drops.
Acquire, on the other hand, is an open marketplace where anyone can list their website or online business for sale. It fails to maintain a consistent level of quality among its listings. Of course, there are plenty of excellent sites and businesses listed at Acquire, but there are also a lot of lower-quality listings.
The high quantity of listings at Acquire requires buyers to spend more time browsing the marketplace, interacting with sellers, and performing due diligence. Sellers also have a harder time standing out because there are so many listings competing for attention.
Investors Club and Acquire both offer straightforward fee structures. This should be refreshing for experienced sellers who have been overwhelmed by the number of different fees and options on other marketplaces. For example, Flippa has a very complex fee structure.
Investors Club doesn’t charge a listing fee; sellers pay nothing unless their site sells. The success fee is a flat 7%, which is among the lowest success fees in the industry.
Acquire also has no listing fees. The success fee is a flat 4%.
Acquire can charge such low success fees because they don’t offer many services that are important in these transactions. For example, Investors Club provides free escrow, legal documents, and migration assistance.
Investors Club and Acquire both offer free accounts for buyers, as well as optional premium accounts. However, there are significant differences in the approaches of these companies.
At Investors Club, buyers can create a free account or upgrade to a premium account. The premium account provides:
- Access to listings five days before free members
- Unlimited access to PDF due diligence reports
- Access to real-time data in the Ahrefs due diligence dashboard with credits for due diligence research
- Seller interview questionnaires
- Downloadable profit and loss (P&L) statements
- Priority support
A premium membership costs $79 per month, $399 per year, or $1999 for lifetime access. This upgrade is completely optional. Buyers with free accounts can still view listings, contact sellers, make offers, and complete transactions.
Acquire offers a free buyer’s account, but the functionality is extremely limited. Free users can view basic listing details, but they cannot contact sellers, place offers, or buy businesses through the platform. Premium membership is needed for anything beyond browsing basic listing details.
Acquire offers two paid membership options: premium and platinum. A premium membership ($390 per year) allows buyers to access listings priced up to $250,000. A platinum membership ($780 per year) provides access to all listings, plus priority support.
Verification and Vetting
Investors Club verifies the traffic and revenue of every listing before publishing. Websites and businesses that cannot provide the evidence needed for verification aren’t listed for sale. In fact, Investors Club rejects more than 60% of the applications it receives from sellers.
Investors Club also verifies buyer and seller identities through a third-party service to protect all of the platform’s users. Additionally, buyers must provide proof of funds before accessing the business names and URLs of listings, maintaining sellers’ confidentiality.
Acquire also takes steps to verify buyers and sellers, but does not go as far as Investors Club. Acquire also uses a third-party service to verify the identity of all buyers and sellers.
Listings at Acquire receive a combination of automated and manual verification. Sellers can integrate with Google Analytics to provide buyers with verified traffic details. Acquire also integrates with QuickBooks and other programs for financials.
Acquire claims to manually review each listing for details like proof of ownership. However, they do not manually verify revenue, which is the most significant difference between these two platforms in terms of verification and vetting.
Both Investors Club and Acquire offer a free escrow service for each transaction.
Investors Club acts as the escrow agent by receiving funds from the buyer and holding those funds until all assets are transferred and the inspection period is complete. At that time, Investors Club releases the funds to the seller.
Acquire does not provide its own escrow service, but it partners with Escrow.com to provide this service for buyers and sellers.
Migration assistance is one of the ways Investors Club stands out. The Investors Club team helps sellers transfer their site to buyers, ensuring everything remains in working order. The migration and transition process can be stressful for both buyers and sellers, so this is a valuable service provided for free.
Acquire does not offer any type of migration or transfer assistance. Buyers and sellers must handle these details on their own, or hire a developer.
Investors Club Pros and Cons
Investors Club Pros
- Curated listings: Investors Club accepts less than half of the listings submitted, resulting in a higher-quality marketplace.
- Manually verified listings: Investors Club team members verify the traffic and revenue of every listing.
- Manageable number of listings: Investors Club has enough listings to provide plenty of options without overwhelming buyers.
- Best for content and e-commerce websites: If you want to buy or sell a content or e-commerce website, Investors Club is an ideal platform.
- Low fees: Investors Club’s seller fees are among the lowest in the industry, and the optional buyer fees are much lower than Acquire’s.
- Free buyer accounts: Buyers who don’t want to pay for a membership can still contact sellers, make offers, and purchase websites, which is not the case with Acquire.
- Free escrow service and migration assistance: Investors Club offers a free escrow service and migration assistance for every transaction.
- In-depth due diligence reports: Buyers with a premium membership get unlimited due diligence reports at no additional cost.
- Consistent valuation and pricing: Investors Club determines the asking price for each listing (with feedback from the seller), maintaining consistency across the marketplace.
Investors Club Cons
- Smaller selection of listings: The smaller selection of listings may be a drawback for buyers wanting to browse through lots of listings.
- Only for content and e-commerce websites: Investors Club isn’t the best option for SaaS or agencies.
Acquire Pros and Cons
- High number of listings: Acquire has more listings than almost any marketplace aside from Flippa.
- Best for SaaS: If you want to buy or sell a SaaS business, Acquire is ideal.
- Low seller fees: Sellers pay no listing fee and only a 4% success fee.
- Free escrow services: Acquire offers free escrow services through a partnership with Escrow.com.
- Identity verification for buyers and sellers: Every buyer and seller must verify their identity with Persona.
- High buyer fees: Free buyer accounts are only useful for browsing listings. Buyers must upgrade to a paid account to move forward, and the Platinum plan is priced significantly higher than Investors Club’s membership.
- No migration assistance: Acquire does not provide any assistance migrating or transferring the website.
- Number of listings can be overwhelming: With nearly 2,000 active listings, buyers face a challenge to find the listings that interest them.
- Not ideal for content sites: Only about 1% of the listings at Acquire are for content sites.
- Inconsistent valuation and pricing: Sellers determine their own listing price at Acquire, and some are wildly off compared to industry standards.
- No due diligence reports: Unlike Investors Club, Acquire doesn’t offer due diligence reports to buyers.
Investors Club vs. Acquire: Final Verdict
Investors Club and Acquire are two of the leading marketplaces for buying and selling online businesses, but they take different approaches. The first consideration should be the type of business you want to buy or sell. Investors Club is excellent for content sites, while Acquire is not. Acquire is ideal for SaaS businesses, while Investors Club is not. Both platforms are suitable for e-commerce businesses.
Buyers who want to save time will appreciate Investors Club’s curated listings. By verifying all listings and only accepting the best, Investors Club makes it easier and faster for buyers to evaluate listings and find what they’re looking for. Investors Club also assists buyers by allowing free users to contact sellers and purchase listings.
Both buyers and sellers benefit from the consistency of Investors Club’s valuations, as well as the free migration service and legal documents that aren’t offered by Acquire.
Marc has been building websites and online businesses since 2007. He's built successful businesses in several industries, including web/graphic design, photography, travel, and personal finance. Marc is the founder of Flip My Site, where he writes about buying and selling websites.