The Unicorn Exit
In 2001, Haroon Mokhtarzada and his brothers started Webs.com, which allowed anyone to build a professional website. Eager to grow the company, they decided to raise money from a venture capital firm – a decision Mokhtarzada would later regret.
They ultimately grew Webs.com to over 50 million users and sold it in 2011 to Vistaprint for over 10x revenue, totaling $117.5 million.
Is Your Best Customer Hurting Your Company’s Value?
In 2002 Chuck Crumpton started Medpoint to help businesses bring medical devices and pharmaceuticals to market. The company quickly took off after Crumpton landed a prominent blue-chip client.
It was a blessing and a curse.
A Regrettable Deal
In 2013 South African entrepreneur Jason Bagley started Firing Squad, a lead generation company specializing in cold emails.
In 2020 Firing Squad signed an agreement to be acquired by Southern Web and was later rebranded to SiteCare.
The deal was something Bagley would later come to regret.
Turning the Tables on John
By now, you’re accustomed to hearing John Warrillow ask the tough questions.
Every month, we turn the tables and grill John on his favorite anecdotes and transferrable lessons from the latest batch of guests on Built to Sell Radio. In this episode, Dr. Jeremy Weisz gets John to reflect on what stood out, any missed opportunities, and how each story imparts the Built to Sell Methodology.
How To Sell A 12 Employee Company For 8-Figures
James Ashford had a burning drive to become an entrepreneur and start a successful business. After a failed attempt to grow a marketing agency, Ashford knew that to build the business he had always dreamed of, he needed to make some drastic changes.
In 2016, Ashford took what little was left after his business failed and invested £4,000 in developing proposal software for accountants which he named GoProposal. By 2020, GoProposal was a slick application with £1.5 million in revenue and hundreds of accountants using it. That’s when Ashford agreed to be acquired for a healthy 8-figure sum.
6 Things to Know Before Approaching an Acquirer
Touraj Parang has experienced the highs and lows of selling a company.
In 2009, Parang sold his first company, Jaxtr, for pennies on the dollar. He took the lessons he learned and joined Webs.com, where he helped Haroon Mokhtazarda sell his company for over $115 million.
Parang left Webs.com and joined GoDaddy as a leader in their acquisitions group, where they acquired dozens of companies during his tenure.
Bootstrapping to a $200 Million Exit
In 2012 Patrick Campbell founded ProfitWell to help SaaS companies increase revenue and reduce churn by managing their data in a single place.
After bootstrapping the business to 8-figures, Campbell decided it was time to raise money. While he was seeking a financial investor, Paddle approached him with an acquisition offer. Soon after, in 2022, Campbell sold ProfitWell to Paddle for over $200 million.
The Lifeboat Exit
In 2017, John Whiting started Digital Kryptonite with the goal of providing business owners with more leads. Helping his clients mine LinkedIn, Whiting quickly grew his company from zero to seven figures within a year. The company saw massive growth month-over-month when suddenly Whiting received a message from his credit card processor that his account was being shut down.
Although 98% of Whiting’s customers were happy, 2% were not, which led to a greater dispute rate than Stripe allowed. This ultimately led to Whiting being placed on the Match List, which inhibited his ability to process payments. Suddenly, the seven-figure business Whiting had built was in jeopardy.
With little faith left, John received an email from a friend asking to buy his company. In his own words, it was a “lifeboat,” and Whiting jumped on with both feet.
Selling to a Publicly Traded Company
In 1988, Tony Falkenstein started Just Life Group, one of the first water-cooler companies in New Zealand.
In 2016, Falkenstein identified the need to diversify into new service offerings and opted to start acquiring companies. Since then, Falkenstein has acquired six businesses, aligning with their overall focus of enhancing lives through healthy living and healthy homes.
One Company, Two 8-Figure Exits
Ed Buckley started Peerfit, which allows companies to offer fitness classes as part of their employee benefits package. The company grew to more than 150 employees before receiving an acquisition offer for almost $100 million from a major fitness brand widely reported to be Peloton. Buckley retained some of the IP, which, in a strange twist, he was able to sell in another eight-figure exit months later.
How to Turn Beta Users into Customers Plus 3 Other Stories
This week, we’re featuring four recent guests and highlighting transferrable lessons they shared about exiting their company.
How to Avoid Seller’s Remorse
Rory Fatt began his entrepreneurial journey running marketing seminars for restauranteurs. After several owners approached Fatt to do their marketing for them, he decided to launch Royalty Rewards in 2005.
The business was a multimedia marketing platform that helped small businesses market their products and services by rewarding loyal customers. The company took off, hitting just over $2 million in revenue in its first year.
Inspired to achieve financial freedom, Fatt began to explore selling his company. In 2022, he accepted an offer from Schianti Partners that would set his family up for life.