Since being founded in 2007, DocStoc has been best known for its platform for sharing professional documents. But over the years, it’s worked to morph into a one-stop shop for small businesses, providing them with premium services and resources that go above and beyond just document sharing. Now it’s making its first acquisition to bring another tool into the Docstoc family of products, professional services and software recommendation platform BestVendor.
The acquisition follows Docstoc’s expansion of its product set with the release of License123, which provides a database of licenses and permits needed to start a business, as well as its ExpertCircle platform for sharing recommendations of the best online and offline vendors for small businesses.
Just as those two platforms operate as independent products, BestVendor will continue to be an independent platform following the acquisition, Docstoc co-founder and CEO Jason Nazar told me. The platform operates as a kind of “Yelp for small businesses,” providing them with tools and recommendations for choosing between different SaaS and software services. In that respect, Nazar sees an opportunity to integrate it with premium subscription service ExpertCircle under the BestVendor brand.
The deal is primarily an asset purchase, as Docstoc acquired all of BestVendor’s code and database, but not necessarily the team behind it. As a result, all future development for the product will move to Docstoc’s Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters. Otherwise, terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Running profitably for years after raising just $4 million, Docstoc has been looking for acquisition targets over the past year. The company is hoping to find businesses that are complementary to its current small business offerings. BestVendor fit the bill, but Nazar reckons there are other similar opportunities out there.
Using its 35 million registered users, Docstoc can help drive new users to businesses like BestVendor, which had a great platform but wasn’t growing as quickly as it could have been. Docstoc has more than 17 million unique visitors a month, as well as another 5 million who see its documents embedded on other sites. And it gets another 30,000 new registered users per day.
“One of the advantages we have is distribution,” Nazar said. “We can get this in front of people.”