Compilr, the Halifax company whose online development environment allows users to learn, write and test code in the cloud, has received interest from a number of potential suitors that may be interested in buying its assets.
Founder and CEO Patrick Hankinson said in an interview the company is talking about the sale of its back-end infrastructure and its educational product. “We’re just re-evaluating what technology we have and who the technology would fit well with,” said Hankinson.
He said the talks could result in the infrastructure and educational platform being sold to one or two separate buyers. Or, if he does not get the price he was looking for, Hankinson could maintain Compilr as a stand-alone business.
Compilr is now generating revenues, which are increasing 20 per cent per month. Hankinson said an alternative to the sale would be simply to maintain the company and let its shareholders collect payouts generated by these revenues.
Though only 25, Hankinson has already had a storied career as a serial entrepreneur. He worked with his brother Stephen and Tim Burke on the development of Tether, a technology that allows people to use their laptops over a smartphone connection. A little over two years ago, Patrick Hankinson launched Compilr as a vehicle to allow people to write code in the cloud, and then added the educational component.
The company has been successful, but Hankinson realized lately it may never become the killer commercial success that he’s been dreaming of.
“It all started because I was asked to join another company as a co-founder and the other opportunity sounded really exciting,” he said. “We were growing at a rate where we can only add three or four people a year. I’m not interested in these small opportunities anymore.”
What is Hankinson’s ambition? “I want to build a company that can make a few people millionaires.” He said. “I’ve always wanted to start a company that can make the first 15 or 20 people that we hire millionaires by the time it exited.”
Hankinson is now following the advice of GoInstant co-founders Jevon MacDonald and Gavin Uhma to take about three months to evaluate his next options. In the meantime, he is continuing to work on Compilr and working as a consultant for a few other companies in the region.
For most of its history, Compilr has offered a free basic service and a premium service that users pay for. Its revenue growth really began last autumn, when the company began an email campaign advertising its premium products. Earlier this year, Compilr decided it would no longer offer the free service to new clients (other than a 14-day trial period).