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Finding the Middle Ground With an Acquirer

May 28, 2021 |  

About this episode


Shawn Finder built email marketing platform Autoklose to $1 million in revenue when a chance encounter at a conference led to an acquisition conversation with VanillaSoft. Finder thought his company was worth much more initially than VanillaSoft did – their valuations were quite far apart and both sides had to negotiate to ultimately meet in the middle.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Finance your growth while hanging on to your equity.
  • Maximize your customer retention.
  • Keep your books if you want to get acquired.
  • Push an acquirer hard (without jeopardizing your deal).
  • Justify a higher valuation for your company.


Check out our article on How You Treat New Customers Impacts Your Company’s Value.


Check out our full M&A Glossary

Show Notes & Links

(02:26) Shawn Finder: “So it started first off, we had a company called Exchange Leads, which was a data company. Similar to the old Jigsaw, which was acquired by”

(03:33) Shawn Finder: “actually with Exchange Leads, one of our first clients was Rogers.

(11:12) Shawn Finder: “the reason why we only have U.S. contacts in our database, we stayed away from CASL and we stayed away from GDPR.”

(12:55) Shawn Finder: “What happened was I was at the SaaS North Conference in Ottawa in 2019.”

(13:18) Shawn Finder: “We had our booth and about 20 feet away was a company called VanillaSoft.”

(18:19) Shawn Finder: “one thing I will tell the audience is, when you’re going through this whole process, you are going to have to do a lot of due diligence, get a lot of stuff that takes you away from your day-to-day business. So if you don’t have somebody that’s continuing to grow the business, it takes a lot of time.” – Do I Need a Broker to Sell My Business?

(21:56) Shawn Finder: “a book I read on negotiation Never Split the Difference is an amazing book.”

About Our Guest

Shawn Finder is an entrepreneur at heart. At age 24, Shawn entered the entrepreneurial world by importing packaging from Asia and selling to top cosmetic retailers in North America. By the age of 28, he already sold his first business.

In early 2017, Shawn parlayed his second venture ExchangeLeads into a sales automation platform called Autoklose. Autoklose & ExchangeLeads were both acquired in 2020 by VanillaSoft.

Connect with Shawn

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