I think they never would have gotten past due diligence. They claimed to be generating $75k "in profit", but had no F/T devs on the project. Combine that with self-proclaimed stalled growth, and the company's a loser. I'm going to guess that a huge slice of that $75k was due to parasitic hosting -- they probably put it on infrastructure belonging to (or at very least subsidized by) their other "real" projects, so even $75k is a stretch.
Next, the codebase is hacked together (as they say in the "why we're not open-sourcing it" paragraph). People buying entire companies in a packed market like this are looking to buy something that's basically running on rails. Newsberry isn't this. Hacked together is fine for a bleeding-edge idea, but this thing had been going for 7 years.
A buyout would have landed somewhere in the 4-figures. If I were in their shoes, I would have turned it down, too.
>> It’s not like we were going to put a For Sale sign up. We had active clients who we didn’t want to scare off. We were still actively supporting the product and we also wanted to sell a profitable service, and for that you needed customers.