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6 Lessons From Selling Your Company to a Growth Equity Investor

February, 5, 2021 |  

About this episode


Despite starting with just $10,000 in 2004, Jon Morris built Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency, to more than 100 employees before deciding to sell part of the business to Quad, a global marketing services provider.

After two years with Quad as a minority partner, Morris decided to sell the remaining chunk of his equity to Quad in a second transaction. Morris recently left Quad after his two-year earn-out was up. In this episode, Morris shares what he had learned about the process of building to sell, including:

  • The simple acid test Rise used to ensure each of their 250 employees lived their brand.
  • What he found most challenging about raising money.
  • The challenges associated with negotiating with “follower” investors.
  • How much of a growth capital partner’s investment you get to keep.
  • The unique way Quad incentivized him to stay through his earn-out.
  • The three things that should be in your operating agreement with investors.

During the interview, Morris revealed how raising an investment round from friends, family, and a growth equity partner made him focus on earning his backers a return by growing his business’s value. If you’re looking to boost your business’s value, it starts by benchmarking where you’re at and identifying the levers you can pull now to maximize your value in the future. Get started today by getting your Value Builder Score.

About Our Guest

Jon Morris is the founder and CEO of Ramsay Innovations. Previous to starting Ramsay Innovations, Morris was the founder and CEO of Rise Interactive. Under Morris’ leadership, Rise received recognition for excellence in client service, innovative marketing campaigns, and commitment to culture, including acknowledgment from Inc. 500|5000 Fastest Growing Companies (nine-time winner), Ad Age (Best Places to Work in Advertising), Fortune Magazine, and more. As a leader in the digital marketing community, Morris has mentored several entrepreneurs, with a significant focus on the University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge, a renowned business plan competition where Rise itself got its start. Morris earned an MBA with high honors, graduating first in his class from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College.

Watch the interview

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