6 min read

Why Skull Riderz chose OpenStore over business brokers

Adrian Alfieri
Motorcycle brand
Table of contents:

Every high-growth brand found initial success in the same way – dominating a niche.

In the case of Skull Riderz – the go-to biker brand for stylish, protective apparel — the team identified and owned the biker niche. They offer top-tier apparel and user support to their “biker brotherhood” around the world. The storefront was recently acquired by OpenStore in July 2022. 

We sat down with Ben Davenport, Founder of Skull Riderz, to hear how OpenStore provided both the freedom and the funds to pursue his next chapter as an eCom founder. We dive into: 

  1. Why he was reluctant to sell — and how OpenStore inspired a change of plans
  2. The acquisition offer (with 80% cash upfront) that transformed his life
  3. Realizing that traditional brokers weren’t the right fit for his brand
“For my next step, I’m going to launch another brand. And I actually plan to grow and develop the business before selling it to OpenStore — again.” 

Meeting OpenStore through a trusted founder referral

The mark of any great company is the degree to which customers refer their friends.

Skull Riderz’ founder Ben Davenport experienced this firsthand – he first heard about OpenStore after one of his friends sold an eCom business to us. Critically, his friend had such a positive experience that he recommended Ben consider doing the same. 

At the time, he’d barely considered parting ways with Skull Riderz. 

But, the rave review and OpenStore’s site piqued his interest. It seemed like a rare, strategic opportunity to set himself up well for whatever came next. 

He thoroughly researched the OpenStore brand and team before officially submitting his company info, linking his ad accounts, etc. for valuation. Overall, he was more than sufficiently impressed by the breadth of credentials at OpenStore. 

Ben received his offer within 48 hours — and committed soon after. 

Why Ben chose OpenStore over traditional brokers

While considering the OpenStore offer, Ben also started conversations with a brokerage firm. 

To put it simply: He did not enjoy his first impressions or experience with them

The broker had a far less attractive outlook on the future of Skull Riderz post-acquisition than the OpenStore team. We clearly outlined that our goal in buying businesses is twofold: 

  1. Scaling these startups into lucrative members of the OpenStore brand family
  2. Creating a mutually beneficial partnership that’ll uniquely reward the founder

In the end, you can also undergo drawn-out, expensive negotiations — and arrive at a totally different price from what you were promised. 

“I actually saw the founder of OpenStore being interviewed on a reputable news channel. At that moment, I could see how legit they are. I could tell I was working with a great team who’ll handle Skull Riderz well.” 

Get 80% of your cash upfront after selling to OpenStore

Unlike most eCommerce buyers, OpenStore delivers liquidity to founders upfront.

After selling Skull Riderz, Ben was able to receive the majority of his money in cash – right away.

Meanwhile, if he’d taken the broker route, he would’ve endured a months-long sales process — a major contrast to the 48-hour offer and few weeks it took to finish the deal. 

It only took three weeks after signing for him to receive 80% of the funds. 

On that note, Ben points out that maybe founders could go elsewhere and squeeze their buyer for 25% more than what OpenStore offers. However, they most likely won’t be able to offer the cash upfront on the table. 

He was also pleasantly surprised by just how accommodating OpenStore was to the changes his lawyer suggested within their APA. 

All that was left was the two-month transition period: Ben stays on to oversee the handoff and integration of OpenStore’s employees into Skull Riderz’s daily ops. 

After receiving that money in the bank so quickly, Ben invested a portion into real estate and has started to feel less financial pressure — across every aspect of his life. It’s a peace of mind made possible by OpenStore. 

Those funds also enable the new eCom schemes he’s been cooking up. He’s actually looking to start a new business within the biker niche. 

Selling Skull Riderz gave him the time and capital to live out this lucrative, fresh start. 

“OpenStore made their offer very, very quickly. Even the transition period feels very fast compared to what would’ve happened with a broker.” 

How OpenStore provides the roadmap for a fresh start

Ben specializes in finding winning products – again and again.

He pairs his understanding of what customers want with the ability to capture niche audiences, generate stellar copywriting and advertising, and build attractive websites. 

He can rinse and repeat that skill set to try out countless eCom business ideas.

More specifically, he enjoys the product side of brands, like picking the right merchandise. 

There’s a sweet spot where consumers will happily pick up a product if it’s at the right price. Searching for that perfect pricing ratio is hugely satisfying for him as a merchant. 

Currently, Ben intends to launch, develop, and scale a new brand — and then sell to OpenStore once again after sales break $1–2 million. That range will be ideal for getting a valuation that makes his effort worth the while. 

After all, building (and selling) businesses isn’t just a passion project for him. 

He has to continue making income to maintain the lifestyle he’s always wanted to lead. 

Luckily for Ben, selling to OpenStore fulfills both his need for liquidity and his passion for watching brands go from Zero to Ten. 

“I cannot wait to work with OpenStore again. I love their ethos: ‘We’ll dive right in. Give us 48 hours, and we’ll give you a fair valuation.’” 

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