A partner in a different country, doable?

Eduardo Hueso Independent iOS Engineer

February 28th, 2014


My company SnapShop makes a mobile app to visualize furniture in your space. We sell white-label implementations to retailers and also sell product listings in our own SnapShop Showroom implementation of the app.

An entrepreneur in Israel approached me because he has been working on a similar product in israel, he's more of a sales person (which we don't have) and has made good progress getting large israeli retailers interested and willing to pay for basically the same service SnapShop provides. However, he has made little progress on the technical dev and he doesn't have a tech partner.  SnapShop, on the other hand has a built product and the tech infrastructure but very weak on the sales and biz-dev side.

After several conversations I've determined that I'd like to work with him on exploring the israeli market.

What would be a fair arrangement between SnapShop and him. 

I tend to think that from Snapshop's perspective he could be a sales rep, maybe with exclusivity in israel, for commission on sales. But he has been thinking independently about the problem, he has spent 6 months doing a lot of customer development and designing an app he thinks is what customers want (all this before approaching SnapShop). His ideas may benefit SnapShop in other markets. How can we capture all this value in the arrangement without getting married.

Some details: Someone would need to invest a significant amount translating the app and contract to hebrew and making some changes to the app for him to feel he can sale it effectively.  If SnapShop takes on that risk, then that should also be captured. 

Any ideas? 

Thanks so much,

Mark Neild Empowering quietly creative people to prosper through innovative yet authentic and engaging business models

March 2nd, 2014

Eddy A few options. 1. You could license your app to your Israeli. If he licenses then he has the ability to modify to suit his market and he could hire you to make the changes 2. The license price could be money or consultancy. 3. You can set up a commercial arrangement with an option to co- found at some later date or if certain conditions are met - call it an engagement if you like! I suggest you write down what resources you have to offer and what resources you most need. Then write down what resources he most needs and what resources he has to offer. The best commercial partnerships exist where each party offers something which is low cost to themselves but high value to the counter party. If you can exchange resources on that basis you can both be winners but neither need cede control or equity or indeed money. However for these arrangements to work both sides need trust. Be really interested to know what deal you do especially if it is innovative. Good luck anyway. Mark