In 2013 South African entrepreneur Jason Bagley started Firing Squad, a lead generation company specializing in cold emails.
In 2020 Firing Squad signed an agreement to be acquired by Southern Web and was later rebranded to SiteCare.
The deal was something Bagley would later come to regret.
In 2012, Patrick Campbell founded ProfitWell to help SaaS companies increase revenue and reduce churn by managing their data in a single place.
After bootstrapping the business to 8-figures, Campbell decided it was time to raise money. While seeking a financial investor, Paddle approached him with an acquisition offer. Soon after, in 2022, Campbell sold ProfitWell to Paddle for over $200 million.
Ed Buckley started Peerfit, which allows companies to offer fitness classes as part of their employee benefits package. The company grew to more than 150 employees before receiving an acquisition offer for almost $100 million from a major fitness brand widely reported to be Peloton. As part of the deal, Buckley retained some of the IP, which, in a strange twist, he was able to sell in another eight-figure exit months later.
In 2012, Ryan Coon started Rentalutions, a platform to help landlords manage and communicate with their tenants more effectively.
The business showed steady growth, but Coon wasn’t satisfied.
Five years in, Coon rebranded the company to Avail and focused his marketing to target DIY landlords with under ten rental units to manage. The changes proved successful as Coon grew the business to around $7 million in revenue before selling to Realtor.com in 2020 for approximately five times revenue.
When Jodie Cook started her social media agency, nothing happened without her involvement.
Desperate to free herself up from the minutia of running her company, Cook started to systematize her business with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). After a few missteps, Cook mastered the art of delegation.
In 2016, Ryan Kulp launched Fomo because he saw marketers using aggressive popups on their websites.
Kulp reasoned that if he could show other people were shopping and interacting with a site, it would give new visitors confidence in the company.
Fomo allows businesses to show off real-time customer interactions (purchases, opt-ins, even pageviews) with a line of code the company installs on their site.
Kulp led Fomo to around $1 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) before deciding to step down as CEO in 2020. Two years later, an acquirer approached Kulp about acquiring Fomo. Initially, he wasn't interested, but after some soul-searching, Kulp decided to sell Fomo to Relay Commerce in a lucrative exit.
The economy has been a roller-coaster over the last quarter.
In this special episode of Built to Sell Radio, John Warrillow reveals the downside of trying to time the market and shares four alternative ways to know when to sell.
Rory Fatt began his entrepreneurial journey running marketing seminars for restauranteurs. After several owners approached Fatt to do their marketing for them, he decided to launch Royalty Rewards in 2005.
The business was a multimedia marketing platform that helped small businesses market their products and services by rewarding loyal customers. The company took off, hitting just over $2 million in revenue in its first year.
Inspired to achieve financial freedom, Fatt began to explore selling his company. In 2022, he accepted an offer from Schianti Partners that would set his family up for life.
Jeremy Nagel started his entrepreneurial career teaching clients how to get the most out of Zoho, a popular CRM platform. Nagel began cultivating a small following on YouTube by sharing his advice for Zoho enthusiasts.
Given his status in their ecosystem, Zoho approached Nagel about creating an SMS plug-in for their application to allow users to text their clients while using Zoho. Nagel developed the application while keeping his day job. Despite only dedicating one or two days a week to its growth, the feature quickly became one of the top five applications in the Zoho marketplace.
Two years later, Nagel received a LinkedIn message from the head of corporate development at MessageMedia with a lucrative exit offer he could not refuse.
Touraj Parang has experienced the highs and lows of selling a company.
In 2009, Parang sold his first company, Jaxtr, for pennies on the dollar. He took the lessons he learned and joined Webs.com, where he helped Haroon Mokhtazarda sell his company for over $115 million.
Parang left Webs.com and joined GoDaddy as a leader in their acquisitions group, where they acquired dozens of companies during his tenure.
In the latest installment of Inside the Mind of An Acquirer, Parang shares how companies like GoDaddy acquire companies.
Ten years ago, Timo Armoo was on a flight from his home country of Ghana on his way to live in a council flat in one of the U.K.'s poorest neighborhoods.
Motivated to live a better life, Armoo started Fanbytes, an influencer marketing agency dedicated to connecting brands with social media influencers.
The company took off.
Fanbytes reached 65 employees and hit revenues of 8-figures when he decided to sell the company to Brainlabs for around 3X revenue.
In 2015, Lorenzo de Plano co-founded Solace Technologies, one of the first vape manufacturers in the United States. The goal of the business was to create a discreet vape pen that customers could use as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
The business boomed to revenue of more than one million dollars a month, but a looming threat had de Plano eyeing an exit. So, when a $15 million offer came in, he bit.
In 2007, Laura Roeder started selling online courses on how to market through social media. Her courses gained popularity, resulting in Roeder growing an email list of around 70,000 people. Inspired to further serve her customers, she decided to create social media scheduling software.
It was one of the first social media planning tools that allowed you to schedule your social media content. Piggy backing off the list she had built from her online course business, the company hit $1 million in recurring revenue in only 11 months.
In 2009, Raman Sehgal started a small marketing company called ramarketing. In 2015, frustrated with the company’s progress, Sehgal decided to analyze his business.
That’s when he discovered something interesting.
Ramarketing’s most valuable customers (low-maintenance, sticky, high gross margin etc.) were in the pharmaceutical industry. Sehgal immediately pivoted the company to solely serve clients in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Focusing on big pharma worked. Ramarketing grew from $500,000 in revenue in 2015 to around $10 million by 2022, which is when Sehgal accepted an acquisition offer from NorthEdge Capital of more than 10X EBITDA.
In 2001, Haroon Mokhtarzada and his brothers started Webs.com, which allowed anyone to build a professional website. Eager to grow the company, they decided to raise money from a venture capital firm – a decision Mokhtarzada would later regret.
They ultimately grew Webs.com to over 50 million users and sold it in 2011 to Vistaprint for over 10 x revenue, totaling $117.5 million.
Hungry to start another company and learn from their mistakes in raising money for Webs.com, Haroon and his brothers began Truebill in 2015. The business was created to help people save money by managing their subscriptions from one platform.
Truebill snowballed, reaching $100 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in just seven years. In 2022, Truebill was acquired by Rocket Companies – again, for over 10 x revenue, totaling $1.275 billion.
In 1988, Tony Falkenstein started Just Life Group, one of the first water-cooler companies in New Zealand.
In 2016, Falkenstein identified the need to diversify into new service offerings and opted to start acquiring companies. Since then, Falkenstein has acquired six businesses, aligning with their overall focus of enhancing lives through healthy living and healthy homes.
Just Life Group is a publicly-traded company with a current market cap of $46.799M as of June 9, 2022.
In 2015 Josh Davis and a friend, Darryl Ee, decided to start Speedee Transport, a trucking company specializing in shipping products that need to be refrigerated.
Within three years of starting the business, they had grown from two to over forty-five employees, and an acquirer approached them. This kicked off an emotionally draining—and financially rewarding—journey to sell Speedee. In this episode, you’ll discover how to:
In 2017, John Whiting started Digital Kryptonite with the goal to provide business owners with more leads. Helping his clients mine LinkedIn, Whiting quickly grew his company from zero to seven figures within a year. The company was seeing massive growth month-over-month when suddenly Whiting received a message from his credit card processor that his account was being shut down.
In 2019, Jonathan Shroyer, alongside his Co-Founder Scott McCabe, started Officium Labs with the goal to help clients turn contact centers into profit centers.
After two years of seeing incredible growth, Jonathan was approached by three investors to acquire Officium Labs. Shroyer ultimately ended up selling to Arise for around 20X EBITDA.
What every owner should take away from Elon Musk's decision to press pause.
Enjoy this special edition of Built To Sell Radio.
Eddie Whittingham started a company called The Defense Works in 2016. His idea was to provide companies with information on how to avoid getting hacked. Whittingham created a series of animated video clips explaining cyber security best practices and offered his content on a subscription model to companies.
By 2020, Whittingham had bootstrapped his business to 8 full-time employees when he attracted an offer of 7 times revenue from Proofpoint, one of the largest players in the cyber security industry. Whittingham got Proofpoint up to 10 times revenue and agreed to the deal.
In 2016, James Ashford took what little was left after his business failed and invested £4,000 in developing proposal software for accountants which he named GoProposal. By 2020, GoProposal was a slick application with £1.5 million in revenue and hundreds of accountants using it. That’s when Ashford agreed to be acquired for a healthy 8-figure sum.
James Ashford had a burning drive to become an entrepreneur and start a successful business. After a failed attempt to grow a marketing agency, Ashford knew that to build the business he had always dreamed of, he needed to make some drastic changes.
In 2016, Ashford took what little was left after his business failed and invested £ 4,000 in developing proposal software for accountants which he named GoProposal. By 2020, GoProposal was a slick application with £1.5 million in revenue and hundreds of accountants using it. That’s when Ashford agreed to be acquired for a healthy 8-figure sum.
Paul Nielsen built HomeTech, a company focused on creating healthier homes by installing skylights for natural lighting and advanced systems for better air quality. The business was generating around $1.4 million in EBITDA when an industry competitor approached Nielsen about acquiring HomeTech.
This week, we’re featuring four recent guests and highlighting transferrable lessons they shared about exiting their company.