PixelMe was acquired for $753,000 for 2.69x ARR by Carbon6.io
- Purchase Price: $753,000 in cash
- ARR: $280,000
- Multiple: ~2.69x ARR
- Buyer: Carbon6.io (SaaS Ecosystem for Amazon Sellers)
- Close Date: October 2021
- Payment Structure: 3 payments (at close, 6 months & 12 months)
In my last article, we shared why and how we bought out our investor’s shares, we gave back €200K from a loan and I finally bought my co-founder’s shares. You can learn more here.
FE International — Professional M&A Advisor
During the year I managed PixelMe alone after buying my co-founder’s shares, I was in contact with some potential buyers for PixelMe. And I understood two things:
1/ It’s difficult to find potential buyers by yourself.
2/ Starting conversations with potential buyers takes a lot of time and each time it is the same process.
In May 2021, during a call with Jonathan Siegel, CEO of the tech private equity firm Xenon, he told me if I wanted to sell PixelMe I should do it via FE International. As confirmed by my friends Alex and Moritz, FE has a really great reputation to sell SaaS.
FE International is an M&A advisory that can help you sell your business. I decided to contact them and everything started with the email from Ismael.
It was only the start. 😅 I probably answer more than one hundred questions from FE.
Here is a quick recap of the process:
- I completed a questionnaire to proceed to the first valuation.
- Then questionnaires to follow-up with FE.
- Ismael sent me the valuation of PixelMe at $753,032
- We did an operational and financial due diligence
- FE created a prospectus presentation of PixelMe
- And we finally launched PixelMe into the listing
I totally agreed with the FE valuation at $753,000. A valuation at 2.69x the ARR is pretty common when you are selling a SaaS business. FE takes a 15% fee on that, but only if successful, no upfront fees.
The process to be listed was a little bit long but needed. FE did a really great job of fully understanding PixelMe, analyzing all our metrics and financials. This is an important part because with the prospectus you only do the process once, which saves a lot of time and is very helpful for all potential buyers.
After PixelMe was listed, we started chatting with potential buyers! FE did 80% of the job during this part, I only needed to jump into some specific questions or calls. During the entire process, my partner Michael at FE and I, would talk once a week, he would update me on the buyer's questions and who was interested in acquiring PixelMe.
A big special thanks to Michael! You were incredibly nice and professional during the process.
If you are interested to sell your business, let me know, I’ll be happy to introduce you to FE! 🚀
After a few weeks, we received our first offers. I took some days of analyses offers, I decided to accept that from Carbon6! And two months after the acquisition, I can say, it was the BEST choice!
Carbon6, the perfect buyer for PixelMe
Carbon6.io is a company created by Justin Cobb, an amazing entrepreneur, and several impressive co-founders with amazing pedigree. The goal of Carbon6 is to offer the best tools for all Amazon sellers — they are definitely on their way to leading the market.
“Our vision is to provide innovative technology, data and community to inspire and enable e-commerce businesses around the globe to exceed their goals. In an ever changing market filled with challenges and opportunities for sellers we see Pixelme as an important building block to realizing that vision. With sellers looking for ways to successfully launch new products on Amazon, external traffic attribution and optimization are critical for their growth.” -Justin and the team at C6.
A few months ago, with Stephen my eng. partner, we integrated Amazon Attribution to PixelMe. Amazon Attribution is an advertising and analytics measurement solution that gives marketers insight into how their non-Amazon marketing channels.
PixelMe + Amazon Attribution is the perfect solution to measure all marketing efforts. The main reason why Carbon6 was interested to acquire PixelMe. 🔥
And for me, Carbon6 was the perfect buyer to continue to grow PixelMe with a big long-term vision in the Amazon sellers space. Honestly, I was really impressed by the Carbon6 team, I had a great fit with Justin very quickly, it was very important for me! I have had PixelMe for 4 years, it was unimaginable for me to sell PixelMe without a fit with the buyer.
After signing the LOI (letter of intent) from Carbon6, we started working together for a few weeks. We would schedules calls to talk about the product, marketing, finances, and tech.
A special thanks to Jeremie (my past CTO co-founder) and Stephen (my new co-founder) for helping me on the tech part.
At the same time, we started working with lawyers on the acquisition process in France.
The french 🇫🇷 (not fun) part of the acquisition
When you have a business in France and would like to sell it to a USA company is not easy. In the PixelMe case, it was an asset deal, which means we will not sell the PixelMe french company but only the PixelMe assets (website, application, customers etc..).
In France, it is called a “cession de fonds de commerce” but this type of sale does not entirely fit the same way if you are selling your business to an American company.
Took me a lot of hours to understand how the process works, how we can match with Americans' criteria, and make sure we did it correctly. Thank you so much Moritz for your feedback, helped me a lot! And yes, I did 80% of my lawyer's job…
In the end, everything went well, we negotiated the purchase agreement with the Carbon6 lawyers and finally signed the deal in early October!
At last, I refunded the rest of the amount of our BPI loan and bought back our last angels' shares.
What’s next for PixelMe?
Carbon6 is about the do something big for PixelMe. 🙌 They will integrate Adwords, Facebook and TikTok directly to PixelMe!
In the next few weeks, PixelMe users will be able to launch ads from PixelMe and track all the results with Amazon Attribution! PixelMe will be the first platform to launch and track ads for Amazon!
Carbon6 offered to Stephen and me to help. It was not the initial plan, but we are really happy to continue working on this for a few more weeks.
What’s next for me?
As I mentioned, in the next few weeks I’ll continue to help Carbon6 with PixelMe for the transition period and to create the new ad builder! I’m really glad to have found a smart buyer for PixelMe, I love working with the Carbon6 team.
After that, with Stephen, we’ll launch a new SaaS! Stay tuned 😊