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Want to Own a Photo Software Business? Koken is For Sale

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If you’ve always dreamed of owning a business that builds software for photographers, there’s currently an opportunity to jump in headfirst. Koken, a free and self-hosted content management system for photography and portfolio websites, is for sale.

The Koken team announced last week on Twitter, Facebook, and Medium that they’re looking for a buyer to acquire the business and take the lead.

After considerable discussion and reflection, we've decided it's time for a new team to acquire Koken and take the lead….

Posted by Koken on Thursday, July 9, 2015

The entire thing was built from scratch over the past five years, and was designed to be a powerful, beautiful, and extendable system for photographers to create their own personal websites to showcase their best work.

The library interface inside Koken, where photographers can manage their photos and website.
The library interface inside Koken, where photographers can manage their photos and website.

Everything revolves around an easy-to-use interface, clean and elegant designs, the ability to publish to your website straight from Lightroom, and the ability to enhance your site with various themes and plugins.

The Koken Store, where photographers can buy themes and plugins.
The Koken Store, where photographers can buy themes and plugins.

While the core software is free to download, install, and use for all photographers, some of the optional plugins and themes offered through the Koken store cost money and generate revenue for the business.

In his blog post on Medium, co-founder Todd Dominey shares an inside look at the service, including financial details and usage statistics.

The Koken Store launched in 2014 after four years of intense development and improvements. After 80,000 total installations since the first beta was launched in 2011, with half coming in just the past year, Koken is now earning $12,000 in gross revenue per month (on average). Monthly expenses stand at $200.

There are about 100 new installations on a daily basis; 65% of those photographers install at least one theme or plugin from the store, and 10% of that group ends up purchasing a premium, paid item.

Included in the sale of Koken are: the core content management system, 8 responsive themes (3 of which are premium), 15 plugins (5 of which are premium), the official Lightroom plugin that lets photographers publish from Lightroom, the customer support knowledge base that has been built over the years, and the integrated Koken store.

Creating a page of content.
Creating a page of content.
Live previewing of what your website looks like.
Live previewing and editing of what your website looks like.

“As painful as it is for us to say, our chapter with Koken has ended. But for someone else it could be just the beginning,” writes Dominey. “That’s why we’re looking for just the right company or group of individuals to acquire Koken and all related assets to bring new energy and investment to the platform.”

If you’re interested in buying Koken and passionate about taking it to the next level, you can make an offer to Dominey directly by emailing him at [email protected].

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