In 2016, Jeremy Parker co-founded Swag.com to offer branded promotional products for businesses. Parker and his team developed a powerful online platform that enables customers to order products through their unforgettable website.
Thanks to Swag.com's innovative approach and memorable domain name, the company generated $30 million in revenue by 2020. However, when Parker began to explore acquisition offers, potential buyers viewed Swag.com as just a distribution company, which is typically valued in low single digits of EBITDA.
Fortunately, Parker met the founder of Custom Ink, who recognized that Swag.com was more than just a traditional promotional products business - it was a technology company.
Microsoft's recent announcement about integrating OpenAI's features into Microsoft 365 serves as a prime example of how finding a strategic acquirer for your company can bring significant benefits.
In this special edition of Built to Sell Radio, we will explore five reasons why larger businesses acquire smaller ones and provide tips on how to make your company more attractive to potential strategic acquirers.
In 2011, Tammer Kamel launched Quandl, a company that provided investors with data designed to give them a competitive trading edge. For example, Quandl offered subscriptions that let investors access private jet flight information for public companies as a predictor for M&A activity.
By 2018, Quandl had grown to 75 employees. Kamel saw industry giants entering the space, but knowing the time and capital investment it would take to build a competitive offering, he believed they would prefer to acquire Quandl.
Kamel began shopping the business around, and shortly after, Nasdaq acquired Quandl for a life-changing sum.
Kyle Scott launched Crossing Broad, a Philadelphia sports blog, in 2009. His irreverent and edgy writing style gained a significant following among Philly sports fans, resulting in thousands of daily readers. However, it wasn't until the 2018 Supreme Court ruling lifted the ban on sports betting in the US that the business flourished.
To capitalize on the ruling, Scott merged Crossing Broad with Warwick Gaming into CBWG, which owned and operated several popular sports and gambling websites. The company instantly became the largest independently owned US sports betting affiliate marketing network, generating $5 million in annual revenue.
In 2020, Ten months after joining forces, XLMedia acquired CBWG for $12 million in cash, $8 million worth of XLMedia shares, and the potential for another $9.5 million tied to a three-year earn-out.
In 2013 Mac Lackey licensed the FC Barcelona name to offer soccer camps and immersion trips to young athletes in the United States.
Lackey grew the business to over $10 million in revenue before accepting a lucrative buyout offer that included various desirable benefits for sports fans.