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How a Simple Strategy Led to a 35% Higher Valuation for Conversio

February 26, 2021 |  

About this episode


In 2014, Adii Pienaar started an email marketing platform for retailers, which became Conversio. By 2019, Pienaar had $2 million in revenue and 14 employees.

Pienaar knew companies like his were selling for around three times revenue and was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the proportion of his wealth tied to his Conversio shares. Pienaar decided to sell his company, receiving multiple offers of around three times revenue. That’s when Pienaar pitted one acquirer off the other, ultimately increasing his take by 35%.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How many companies you need to include on your long list to attract multiple offers (hint: it’s probably a lot more than you think)
  • How to decide when to sell
  • The biggest mistake most companies make in their early days when pricing their product
  • The difference between voluntary and involuntary churn
  • Why you should speak at your industry’s conference
  • Four things (other than money) to evaluate when considering an offer
  • What goes in your Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)
  • How to know when an acquirer is serious about your business vs. just kicking the tires
  • How being 100%, remote may impact your value in the eyes of some acquirers
  • The one thing Pienaar refused to discuss with potential acquirers — even when pushed

Ninety percent of Conversio’s customers came from Shopify’s App Store, which made Pienaar feel exposed. If you’re curious to understand where the vulnerabilities lie in your company — and why some acquirers may discount your valuation — complete the Value Builder questionnaire, and we’ll walk you through a report designed to show you how an acquirer would view your business. Start here.

Check out our article on How Amazon Can Be A Blessing And A Curse.

And How One Dog’s Bad Breath Led To A Multi-Million Dollar Exit too.

Check out our full M&A Glossary

About Our Guest

Adii Pienaar is a technology entrepreneur who has founded and sold two global businesses, all while building his home and life in Cape Town. In 2007, Adii founded WooThemes / WooCommerce (which is at least the second-largest eCommerce platform globally after Shopify) before it was acquired by US-based, Automattic, in 2015. Adii then founded Conversio, marketing automation software for profitable eCommerce brands, in 2014 which was acquired by Campaign Monitor in 2019, where he currently serves as VP of Commerce Product Strategy.

Having worked with hundreds of thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs, Adii has had the benefit of seeing the impact of holistic entrepreneurship on a much broader scale and he brings a very specific perspective to business: one that is supposed to be life-first.

More information / links:
● Blog:
● Twitter: @adii
● Instagram: @adii

Watch the interview

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