Custom domains for any site
How did you come up with the microstartup idea?
I acquired Cloakist via Microacquire. The acquisition was the culmination of a 10-month long search for a suitable micro-SaaS business.
There was a good fit between me and the seller, which made for a smooth transition.
The idea for Cloakist was born out of the need of the founder trying to host certain of his public page at a custom domain. There weren't really any tools available to do this and doing it yourself, using Cloudflare for example, was too technical for most people.
So Cloakist was started to address this problem.
Today Cloakist supports rehosting of public pages from Notion, Trello, Celendly, Typeform, Google Docs, Adobe Express, Airtable, Coda, ClickUp, Dropbox Paper, Loom, Microsoft Sway, and more.
You can read more about the details of the acquisition here:
How did you find your first customers?
Because Cloakist supports a wide variety of platforms, the initial outreach was to target users of these platforms and offer Cloakist as a solution to host their page at a custom domain.
A few "mini-apps" were created that targeted specific platforms, like Notion, Trello, and Typeform. These were quite successful with customers coming from engagement on Reddit and other product specific forums.
How are you finding your customers today?
Today most of the traffic and signups are still coming from the channels used previously (i.e. Reddit and product-specific forums). There is also solid organic traffic being generated by the Cloakist Blog. A few posts are ranking well for niche keywords.
Additionally, changes to the customer onboarding flow have also had a positive impact on getting more "feet through the door". Removing the upfront credit card requirement allows more users to test out Cloakist before committing to a subscription. This has led to fewer, but higher quality subscribers.
What's your advice for other microfounders who want to get started?
My route was definitely different to someone building from scratch. Because I was still working full time, my capacity was limited and I could not spend a long time building something that may not work.
Acquiring a micro-SaaS had a few advantages that saved me a lot of time. The business already had the core product implemented, already found product-market-fit, and already had an established customer base.
If going the micro-SaaS acquisition route is an option for you, I'd highly recommend it.
Founded: Oct 2020
Age: 3y 4m
Startups to $5k MRR