4 Big Exits, 1 Smart Entrepreneur

November 2, 2018 |  

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About this episode

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Steve Murch’s BigOven sale is his latest in a series of successful multi-million-dollar exits. Find out how he did it.

To read a transcript of this episode, click here.

Earlier this year, Steve Murch sold BigOven, a cooking app with over 13 million downloads and more than 4 million members, to Aisle Ahead, Inc., capping off an incredible run of successes:

  • Former Chairman of the Board, Escapia, Inc. (http://www.escapia.com), a leader in vacation rental software, sold to vacation rental leader HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY) in 2010
  • Director, Adventure Central, Inc., sold to AdventureLink in 2008
  • Founder, President & CEO of VacationSpot.com, a leading reservation network for villas and vacation condominiums, sold to Expedia in January 2000 for $87 million

Steve is the real deal, and in this episode you’ll learn:

  • A surprising workaround for getting a big company to write a fat check
  • How Steve knows when to bootstrap instead of raising money
  • What liquidation preferences are and why they can be so damaging to founders
  • How to identify your strategic buyer

In its infancy, Murch sold 20% of VacationSpot to Microsoft because of the traffic Expedia (owned by Microsoft at the time) could generate. When it was time to sell, it was only natural to return to Expedia and invite them to acquire the rest of the business.

Do you know who the natural strategic acquirers are for your business? If not, we’ll help you figure it out using the Short List Builder tool, part of Module 11 in the Value Builder System™. Get started for free by completing Module 1.

Our guest

Steve Murch’s career has included leadership positions in online travel, online games, relational databases and telecom. Murch served as Chairman of Escapia (www.escapia.com), the leading SaaS solution for the US vacation rental industry, acquired by HomeAway in 2010. Murch was co-founder, President, CEO and Chairman of VacationSpot.com, a pioneer in the online reservation of vacation rentals, which was sold to Expedia in January 2000 for approximately $87M. At Expedia, Murch was Vice President of Vacation Packages, leading the vacation package and destination services teams, creating two patents on the first-ever dynamic vacation packaging system on the Internet, which now represents billions in annual transactions for Expedia.

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Transcript

John Warrillow:                Once a year, you go to the doctor, right? They take your blood pressure. Maybe they prick your finger and they take a little blood, and they give you a sense of your cholesterol level. Maybe if you go to one of those fancy health care facilities, they get you to run on a treadmill for a while, see how your heart’s doing. You get a checkup. The same thing should be true of your business. When we look at your business through the

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