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Announced this morning, Q&A and “expert chat” service Sprouter has found a buyer in fellow Canadian company Postmedia Network. It was back in July that Sprouter founder Sarah Prevette announced that the service would be closing due to lack of revenue. In August, the Sprouter team noted that they wouldn’t be shutting down and that they were in discussions with several parties to continue the service. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed although the people I’ve spoken with this morning all assume it was very small but were pleased that the service will live on.
Sprouter put together a faq about the aquisition where they note that the acquisition price won’t be disclosed. It looks like the company will be run as a division of Postmedia Network and is looking to hire a business development expert.
They also have provided a description of what Sprouter is, “…where founders get help with their startups. Sprouter allows entrepreneurs to get curated answers to small business questions from people who know what they’re talking about.” The Postmedia network describes their offering as, “the largest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily newspapers in Canada, representing some of the country’s oldest and best known media brands.”
Earlier this morning I learned that startup community site Sprouter is closing in early August. While I sat watching my laundry spin at the laundromat, I started to think about my thoughts on why Sprouter didn’t make it. During the spin cycle, Martin Bryant and Audrey Watters have also posted about the closure. Martin wonders if Quora did them in — I disagree with Martin.
I remember meeting founder Sarah Prevette in NYC shortly after Sprouter launched. I could tell she had one mission: to help startups succeed. I remember the conversation clearly because a lot of what she talked about was similar to what I was trying to do with CN in the early days. Sarah notes that the service is shutting down due to, “capital constraints.” While she never shared how much the company raised, I believe they raised a small angel round when the service first launched. Sprouter found its roots in Sarah’s previous startup: Redwire.
Sprouter went through several pivots in its lifetime – most recently as a Q&A and “expert chat” service.
From looking at the photos and hearing the post-event reviews, I think Sprouter’s best chance for success was to offer paid startup parties and workshops around the country (U.S. and Canada). Many of their events had lines around the block waiting to get in and that formula could have been duplicated. I think there’s a real gap for event-based learning in the startup community.
I am sure we will hear from Sarah soon as she has a strong personal brand presence in Canada and in the U.S.