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Built to Sell Radio

Built to Sell Radio is a weekly podcast for business owners. Each week, we ask a recently cashed out entrepreneur why they decided to sell, what they did right and what mistakes they made through the process of exiting their business. Built to Sell Radio is the ultimate insider's guide to approaching the most important financial transaction of your life.
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Now displaying: Category: business
Aug 4, 2023

In 2006, Chad Rubin built Skubana, a tool specifically designed to streamline the operation of his e-commerce store across diverse channels. Sensing the software's potential, Rubin decided to offer Skubana to other online store owners.

The platform rapidly resonated with e-commerce entrepreneurs, accumulating $5 million in annual recurring revenue by 2021. The company’s success drew the interest of prospective buyers, eventually culminating in an irresistible offer from 3PL Central, a premier provider of warehouse management software. 

Jul 28, 2023

In 2014, Alex Macdonald co-founded Velocity Black, a global digital concierge service for affluent clients. Unlike the basic concierge services of some credit cards, Velocity Black leverages technology and expert knowledge to curate personalized services such as travel, entertainment, shopping, and dining, accessible directly from your phone.

By 2022, the business had expanded to $30 million in net revenue, attracting attention from potential buyers including Capital One which acquired Velocity Black for a reported $297 million.

Jul 21, 2023

Ian Fraser, a former professional golfer from Scotland, turned his expertise in fitting golfers with the right clubs into a successful venture, Tour Experience Golf (TXG), in 2016.

His aim was to bring PGA Tour quality club fitting to everyday golfers. As TXG began to flourish, Fraser realized he needed to expand his team and impart his unique skills to them. By devising an innovative hiring process and employing a creative teaching method, he was able to grow TXG to a team of 14 employees, a YouTube fan base of 150,000 subscribers, and revenue exceeding $2 million.

TXG attracted the attention of Club Champion, the United States' largest club fitting company with more than 100 locations.

Jul 14, 2023

In 2017, Chris Mole, based in the UK, founded Molzi, a full-service digital marketing agency catering to Amazon sellers. As pioneers in the field, the company witnessed significant growth. By 2020, amidst the lockdown-fueled e-commerce boom, Molzi doubled its team size to over 70 employees and generated revenues exceeding £4.5 million.

In 2021, their success caught the eye of Brainlabs, who acquired Molzi, paying 75% of the purchase price upfront and committing the remaining 25% to an earn-out agreement.

Jul 7, 2023

In 2013, Paul Johnson founded Lemonaid Health, one of the first digital healthcare platforms designed to offer virtual medical consultations and prescription services online.

 While the company got off to a slow start, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of online healthcare. By the end of 2021, Lemonaid had agreed to be acquired by the DNA testing outfit 23andMe, for $400 million of cash and stock.

 

Jun 30, 2023

In 2009, Steve Reardon sold Peldon Technologies, a company he founded which provided pharmacies and retailers with photo printers and multifunctional kiosks. Following his departure, Reardon developed a passion for running businesses, a path that ultimately led him to venture into acquisitions.

Now, Reardon serves as the CEO of Alpine Software Group (ASG), a branch of Alpine Investors. ASG's main objective is to acquire companies that specialize in vertical Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.

Jun 23, 2023

This week on Built to Sell Radio, we're excited to feature a special episode with clinical psychologist, speaker, and author, Dr. Sherry Walling. Dr. Walling is renowned for her work with entrepreneurs, aiding them in navigating the mental and emotional hurdles of building and exiting a company.

Jun 16, 2023

In 2014, Mark Wright, who won BBC's The Apprentice, used the $250,000 prize to co-found Climb Online, a digital marketing agency, in collaboration with business tycoon, Lord Sugar.

Their collective reputation and expertise in the industry enabled the digital agency to flourish, eventually becoming one of the largest in the UK, with a workforce of 130 employees at its height. In 2022, Climb Online achieved a significant milestone as it was acquired by xDNA, a global digital agency group, for a value that amounted to 9.5 times its EBITDA. This acquisition marked the first successful business exit for a participant in The Apprentice.

Jun 9, 2023

After a 23-year journey building Non-Linear Creations into a marketing giant with more than 120 employees, Randy Woods sold it in 2017 to Valtech. Valtech is a distinguished digital agency offering marketing, digital technology, and business transformation consulting services.

Post-sale, Woods now serves as the SVP of Strategic Growth Opportunity at Valtech, a role dedicated to identifying potential acquisitions for the business. In the latest installment of Built to Sell Radio’s Inside the Mind of an Acquirer series, we sit down with Woods.

Jun 2, 2023

In 2011, Tyler Smith, one of the top three real estate agents in California, launched SkySlope, a software platform that enables real estate professionals to efficiently manage their transactions, documents, and communication in one centralized system.

Smith successfully bootstrapped the company to around $12 million in annual recurring revenue by 2016, attracting significant attention from potential acquirers. Among the interested parties, Fidelity National Financial emerged as the ideal fit, acquiring 67% of SkySlope in a deal valuing the company at over $80 million.

May 26, 2023

In 2017, Miles Faulkner partnered with Martin Cleaver to establish Blended Perspectives, a reseller specializing in Atlassian products, which offer software solutions for large teams.

To distinguish themselves from other resellers, Faulkner devised an innovative product that set them apart from other Atlassian resellers.

By 2022, Blended Perspectives had achieved approximately $30 million in revenue. Recognizing an impending industry consolidation, Faulkner made the strategic decision to sell to Contegix, a competing Atlassian distributor, for a multiple far better than what a typical reseller usually fetches.

May 19, 2023

Josh Abramson has an impressive track record of building valuable companies. In 1999 Abramson started CollegeHumor.com and before he could even graduate, Abramson had received an offer of $9 million for the website. Abramson went on to start the popular video-sharing website Vimeo and apparel company BustedTees.com selling his collection of companies to Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp for a reported $20 million in 2006.

After a short stint reporting to Diller, Abramson left IAC and started TeePublic, an innovative online marketplace that serves as a platform for artists and designers to showcase and sell their distinctive designs on a wide range of products, including t-shirts and hoodies.

With Abramson at the helm, TeePublic grew to $41 million in revenue and $4.5 million in EBITDA before he decided to sell to RedBubble in a $41 million deal, $36 million of which was in cash. 

 

May 12, 2023

In 1998, Lori Morton founded AerieHub, a customizable mobile app that helps facility managers efficiently control building information and operations, including compliance records, blueprints, and employee training.

Morton onboarded industry giants such as Netflix, Michelin Tires, GE, Bosch, and others reaching over $1 million in annual recurring revenue. Thanks to a rigorous onboarding process and exceptional customer service, Morton lost only two clients in 24 years.

In 2022, JDM Technology Group acquired AerieHub in a lucrative 100% cash upfront deal.

May 5, 2023

In 2017, Gamal Codner established Fresh Heritage, an e-commerce company that created grooming products specifically for men of color.

Codner grew Fresh Heritage quickly with Facebook ads and online reviews, but relying solely on paid customer acquisition almost bankrupted the company. Codner introduced a subscription program and turned one-time customers into automatic repeat purchasers, dramatically increasing the lifetime value of a customer.

As a result, Fresh Heritage's revenue skyrocketed to over $4 million. In 2022, BRANDED, a leading global operator of digital-first consumer brands, acquired Fresh Heritage from Codner.

Apr 28, 2023

In 2008, Brandon Lazar started A+ Gutter & Window Cleaning, servicing homeowners in British Columbia, Canada. Lazar successfully bootstrapped the business, generating nearly $1.5 million in revenue before being approached by an acquirer. 

Lazar sold A+ Gutter & Window Cleaning to a private buyer in 2023 for approximately 3.5 times EBITDA, without an earn-out.

Apr 21, 2023

In 2016 Susanne Klepsch launched Meetfox, a scheduling and video calling solution that helps service professionals manage and monetize their time. 

By 2021 Meetfox had acquired a user base of 25,000. As Klepsch observed competitors being acquired by large software companies, she recognized the need to partner with a major player to compete effectively with Calendly. Consequently, she initiated a merger and acquisition process, reaching out to over a hundred companies, including the venture-backed, all-in-one marketing software Sendinblue. Eventually, Sendinblue made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Apr 7, 2023

In 2013, Dan Reich and his partners founded TULA, a digitally native, probiotics-infused skincare line. 

Reich bootstrapped TULA to around $10 million in annual revenue when he realized he needed to replace himself as CEO. 

The company thrived under professional management, and by 2022, TULA had achieved revenue of over $100 million and received an acquisition offer from Procter & Gamble.

Mar 31, 2023

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.

Mar 24, 2023

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.

Mar 17, 2023

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.

Mar 10, 2023

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.

Mar 3, 2023

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.

Feb 24, 2023

In 2015, Brad Lorge founded Premonition, a technology company that offers logistics software to streamline a company’s delivery operations. Rather than the traditional approach of financing their start-up through rounds of dilutive funding, Lorge asked his customers to pre-pay, allowing the founding team to retain 80% of the equity in their business. 

By March 2022, Premonition had grown to $3 million in Annual Contract Value (ACV) which is when it was acquired by Shippit for $20.5 million -- an implied valuation of just under 7 times ACV.

Feb 17, 2023

Rachel Elsts Downey is the founder of Share Your Genius, a podcast production company that has been helping businesses increase their brand visibility since 2017. Over the years, Share Your Genius has grown into a successful business, generating $500,000 in revenue by 2021.

That’s when Downey was approached by one of her clients with an offer to acquire her business. The client wanted to hire Downey and saw the acquisition of Share Your Genius as the best way to recruit her. After some deliberation, Downey accepted the offer and agreed to be "acquihired". This deal valued Share Your Genius in the mid-six figures and provided Downey with cash for her business, a secure salary, bonuses, and some equity in the acquiring company.

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