EF Staff

September 3, 2018

There are many ways to build an empire. Some people invest in stocks, riding the waves of the rise and fall of the market, and some invest in real estate, renovating and flipping houses. But some people—our favorite people—create their empires by buying and investing in online assets, capitalizing on the millions of dollars flowing through online platforms.

Today we bring you the story of one of our most prolific buyers, Ace Chapman. Ace has bought millions of dollars of online assets with Empire Flippers since our marketplace first launched. If we had to choose someone who could share his wisdom about acquiring, investing in, and generating profits from online businesses, he’d be at the top of our list. But he wasn’t always an expert. As you will see in this video, Ace’s online adventure has had some of the highs and lows of any great hero’s journey.

Ace got his start studying political science in college. He’d always thought he’d like to go into government. But there was another side of him that had the entrepreneurial bug ever since he was a kid. He even tried to convince people at his church that they should pay him for his school pictures, instead of just giving them away like everyone else did!

Part of the program at his university included a stock market simulator where students used fake money to invest, trying to beat out their peers for profits. As part of this, Ace heard about a business whose owners were looking to sell. Ace took his first big-time entrepreneurial leap and reached out to them. They gave this “19-year-old kid” an amazing deal and launched his career working with online businesses. As Ace says, “That was my first realization and experience that you could buy an internet-based business that was making money.”

Unfortunately, Ace’s timing wasn’t as sweet, since this was also the beginning of his first “crushing defeat”. The 2001 dot com crash took it all away. “Here I was with this thing that was worth so much money and now it’s literally worth nothing. I figured you know what, forget this stuff, I’m just gonna go and work a job.”

It’s a scary thing, surviving a boom and bust moment in an industry. For Ace, getting a day job seemed like the right solution. But he quickly found that this wasn’t the answer. “I saw what that path led to. I saw the people who had been there for 20, 30, 40 years. It wasn’t worth giving up that freedom. And even though I’d felt the pain at 21 of having a business being really successful and then completely fail, I was ready to just go through that again in order to avoid this other fate.”

Since then, Ace has invested in or acquired over 100 internet properties. He’s also built an internet investment fund. In Ace’s words, buying businesses has allowed him to “skip over the typical entrepreneur journey of spending 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, trying to figure out how do I make this business work. It’s invaluable. It’s like getting the gift of time.”

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“I remember the very first time I bought a business from Empire Flippers. It was 2011. I ended up growing it and selling it. When I looked back over the course of my year, from the five deals I had bought that year, my ROI ended up being close to 200%! And I just remember comparing that to my offline business where I was very happy to get a 30% return. That was when I realized, OK, I really want to focus on doing more of these internet deals.”

Ace likes working with Empire Flippers because the key to buying online businesses is finding a deal that is going to be successful in the long term. Empire Flippers ensures that the sellers have the business’s best interests in mind. Ace also appreciates Empire Flippers, as he explains, “What I’ve seen is that these are two guys that are in this for the long haul. We’ve built a deep-rooted relationship and I know these guys are going to be here for a long time, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

Since Ace started buying from Empire Flippers, our company has grown quite a bit, from hitting the INC 5000 list three years in a row to establishing entire teams dedicated to vetting, sales, marketing, and migration. It’s not just Justin and Joe running the show anymore, though they still are and always will be our fearless leaders. We are all proud that we can provide the type of experience that brings stars like Ace back year after year. While Ace continues to expand his empire, he’s helping us build ours.

To find out more about how Ace approaches acquiring online businesses, check out the Web Equity Show that he co-hosts with Justin Cooke.


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Discussion
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  1. Sanjib Das says:

    Super inspiring Ace – would be interested to hear how you structure your internet investment fund. Cheers!

  2. Super inspiring Ace – would be interested to hear how you structure your internet investment fund. Cheers!

    • Greg Elfrink says:

      Thanks for the comment Richard!

      Yeah, Ace is an expert on structuring his deals. Lot to learn from him. I recommend checking out our Web Equity Show, it has Justin Cooke our founder and Ace Chapman doing deep dives into various areas of buying and selling.

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