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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

MicroAcquire, an M&A marketplace for small profitable internet businesses, tells Axios that it's raised an additional $5 million at an $80 million valuation, just months after closing $6.3 million in seed funding from firms like Shrug Capital.

Why it matters: Only a small percentage of startups raise venture capital, and an even smaller sliver make it to IPO or a broker-led sale process, so platforms like this could open more realistic exit paths for typical entrepreneurs.

Details: Founded in January 2020, MicroAcquire says it has more than 100,000 registered buyers, more than 2,000 companies listed for sale, and has facilitated more than 500 deals with a combined value of more than $200 million.

  • It currently generates revenue by charging buyers a subscription fee to have full access to the listed startups and be able to contact them, although it plans to start taking a transaction fee (2-3%) next year, says founder Andrew Gazdecki.
  • It's also added a marketplace for deal vendors like lawyers, advisors and bankers, and has inked partnerships with AngelList and Pipe for deal financing (though most sales are still done fully in cash).
  • This latest cash infusion was prompted by existing backer Shrug Capital, with other existing investors jumping in to fill out the round within three days.

The bottom line: While MicroAcquire serves small, mostly bootstapped companies, Gazdecki has much larger (and VC-funded) ambitions: "We don’t want to participate in the M&A market—we want to create the M&A market," he tells Axios.

Go deeper

Jan 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: NRCC raised $140 million in 2021

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House Republicans' campaign arm raised $140 million in 2021, and $17.9 million in December alone, setting a new record for the committee's off-year fundraising, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The hefty cash infusion into the National Republican Campaign Committee comes as House Republican leaders are ramping up their efforts to take back the chamber's majority in November. The party plans to focus its messaging on inflation, immigration, crime and pandemic closures.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."