Discover Boring Businesses that Quietly Rake in the Cash

Interview with the founder of Wappalyzer

Founder, Wappalyzer


Wappalyzer is a technology profiler, essentially acting like a detective for websites.

In this interview, we talk with the founder of Wappalyzer, Elbert.

How did you come up with the idea for the business?

Being a web developer, I often inspected web pages to understand their construction. To streamline this process, I automated it by creating a browser extension that identifies web technologies. This was mainly for my own use initially, but it took a commercial turn years later.

How did you build the product?

Initially, it was a Firefox add-on, which later expanded into a website as its popularity increased. Several rewrites have taken place over the years to refine the product.

How big was your team when you started?

For the majority of the last 15 years, I have been solely managing both the project and the company.

How did you launch the business?

I didn't originally intend to establish a business. Once I started publishing statistics on technology usage through the website, I began receiving requests for the data. Balancing this with a full-time job led me to create a self-serve checkout for customers to select and pay for data autonomously. From there, the product evolved organically, guided largely by customer feedback.

How have you grown the business since its launch?

In 2020, I decided to focus solely on Wappalyzer, leaving my day job. I haven't made any hires or engaged in any direct marketing strategies; growth has been organic. A significant portion of the traffic is driven by the browser extension, which now has over 2.5M users.

What is the business model (ads/subscription etc)?

The business operates on monthly and annual subscriptions, along with OEM deals.

What do your financials look like?

ARR is 7 figures and growing.