Flippa’s founders, Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, with the Founder of the Internet, Vint Cerf, at the 14th Webby Awards
We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the people behind the scenes who make Flippa happen. There’s information about Flippa on our About Us page, but what about the individuals that bring it all together? Today, we thought we would start by telling you a little bit more about the two people who started it all: Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz.
Mark lives in the world’s most livable city, Melbourne, Australia, and is a regular fixture at our Melbourne and San Francisco offices.
Mark is one of Australia’s most respected start-up entrepreneurs. He was recently named 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by BRW Magazine, Australia’s most prestigious business publication, and regularly advises (and sometimes invests) in startups in both Australia and the US. Some of the more recent coverage on Mark includes this article in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Newspaper, and features on Shoestring Startups and Dynamic Business Magazine.
Like most Australians, Mark loves the beach and sport and can generally been found waterskiiing or jetskiiing through summer on his weekends or attending Australian Rules Football games through the winter.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @daxatron
Matt still lives in the second most livable city in the world (sorry Matt), but equally beautiful, Vancouver, Canada. He regularly makes the Top 30 Under 30 lists, including Forbes Magazine’s Technology list, Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30, and the recent Smart Company 30 under 30. He’s a regular contributor to a number of business publications including Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur. You can find links to more of Matt’s articles on his personal blog. He’s an avid wine collector (no word yet on whether he prefers Australian wines!) and traveller, who visited 9 countries in 2011, including Kenya where he watched a pride of lions take down an eland.
Over the past couple of years, Matt has spoken at numerous conferences including Affiliate Summit, PubCon, Underground Online Seminar, and Conversion Conference. Anyone in San Francisco next week can meet up with Matt when he teams up with the likes of oDesk.com CEO, Gary Swart, to discuss building online marketplaces – http://marketplaces.eventbrite.com/
Matt tweets interesting links about startups and business at @sitepointmatt.
How Mark and Matt Ended up Founding Flippa
Many of you know that Flippa originated from SitePoint and quickly became the #1 marketplace in the world for buying and selling websites. What you may not know, however, is that SitePoint was created in 1999 by Matt and Mark, and quickly became the go-to place for best of breed, cutting edge web development resources.
Sitepoint.com has consistently been ranked by alexa.com in the top 1,000 most visited sites in the world and has been ranked as high as the top 100. Matt was only 16 and Mark 26 when the pair partnered and decided to take Matt’s existing site, webmaster-resources.com, and re-launch it as sitepoint.com. In this interview for Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, Matt describes taking calls from ad buyers on his late-90s cellphone, between high school classes, and explains how the partnership came about.
Growing and growing
As SitePoint’s traffic went through the roof and its community forums grew, it wasn’t long before webmasters began offering their sites for sale to other SitePoint community members. This activity led to the creation of the SitePoint Marketplace, which in turn led to the launch of a new business, Flippa.com in 2009.
The most well-known of these companies, 99designs, has attracted some great attention in the last few years, including winning the prestigious Webby Award in 2010, beating out Dropbox and Tumblr. In 2011, 99designs announced $35 million in funding from the Accel Partners (Investors of Facebook, Groupon, Dropbox). Investing alongside Accel were Flickr Co-founder Stewart Butterfield, SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg and ex-eBay exec Michael Dearing. This was one of the largest tech funding deals in Australia in recent times, and helped put the Australian startup scene on the map for international investors.
As you can see, Mark and Matt have been around, and know their stuff when it comes to internet startups and business in general. Want to take advantage of this? Leave your questions for them in the comments. We’ll pick the best ones for an upcoming Q&A session with them.