MyMUN was established in 2014 to connect an international community of Model UN simulation attendees. Since then, the platform has grown to 150,000 registered users, €100,000 yearly recurring revenue, and is the standard, go-to place for young people around the world looking to participate in such conferences.
Tell us a little about yourself, how did you start with MyMUN?
MyMUN started as an in-house project at a student-run political simulation conference (called “Model UN” or “MUN”, hence the name of our platform) in Hamburg, Germany in 2014. It sought to replace the inefficient combination of Google Forms and wire transfers the conference had been using thus far. From there, it quickly caught on as the go-to platform to announce, promote, and organize such conferences. It has since then turned into a huge community hub with over 2,000 conferences and 160,000 users.
How have you marketed the product and where are your customers originating from?
The product markets itself – once someone attends an event organized through our platform, they usually end up organizing their own events with it too! Our biggest marketing effort has been investments in corporate identity and some AdWords. As our customers run their events once a year, we also benefit from a sticky growth model – in short: we get our customers through our own product, and they tend to stick around!
How does this business make money? What are the current revenue streams?
We have four main revenue streams: transaction fees, marketing packages, AdSense, and travel product royalties (roughly split 50/30/10/10).
Our users buy tickets from events run through our platform using a Stripe Connect integration – we take a cut from that based on a “marketplace” model. Events and even the UN itself pay to advertise their programs on our highly frequented landing pages. We also collect commissions from flights, hotels and travel insurance products we promote. AdSense completes the bouquet of revenue streams.
How much time in a given week does it take to run the business? How many people are involved? What does it take to run the business and what, if anything, is automated?
Almost everything related to the business is now automated: From on-boarding customers to our platform, verifying their stripe account, collecting payments, and exporting everything to ready-to-import bookkeeping data. Three people are actively involved in maintaining the platform and spend maybe 5 hours per week each on manually adjusting some of the bookkeeping, keeping the server running, and communicating with some of the key accounts.
Why are you selling the business?
For a few years, we tried attracting major investors to take the business to a level where it could sustain the stakeholders’ livelihoods – alas, the niche is too small and the project remained a hobby, albeit a rather profitable one. Now the stakeholders want to move on with their main careers (and families and other hobbies), so we’re looking to transition from a hands-off automated way of running to business to selling it off in its entirety. The business is healthy and growing – it just needs a new custodian!
What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current form? Are there any specific skills that are necessary?
If you wanted to run the business entirely by yourself, the skills necessary would be: email writing, bookkeeping, some basic sysadmin, and python/html/angularjs. You could easily outsource the latter parts and integrate the key account management and bookkeeping into an existing business – this would get rid of overhead almost completely!
Can you list a few opportunities to Grow for a prospective buyer?
A prospective buyer has many options with MyMUN: Simply let it run as is, with a steady revenue stream and continuous growth. They could also invest in expanding into new markets, such as India, China and North America to rapidly grow on the highly scalable platform. A pivot to (or integration into an existing) career platform, travel platform or something similar is also possible! MyMUN is a healthy, scalable and flexible platform and a great fit for any strategic or private equity buyer.