Twenty years ago today, I joined my first startup, Silanis Technology, as their first finance leader. They were a client of the firm I was at. We had helped them raise financing and we were their auditors.
Little did I know that the decision to join a client would have such an impact on my career trajectory.
Timing is a thing. When I look back on all the outcomes, good and bad, that I have had in the last two decades, timing was a big factor in all of them.
The history buffs out there will know that 1999 was near peak dot com madness. Pets.com and others were going public with no fundamentals, yet commanding lofty valuations. …
At SurePath, we are always looking for resources to help our SMB software clients succeed in this very challenging market. After following their progress since launch, The B2SMB Institute is a resource we recommend that you consider.
Founded by two SMB industry veterans, Dave Walker and Peter Hutto, the Institute launched 18 months ago with the objective of creating a “community of B2SMB professionals” and resources (events, research, and how to “playbooks”) that can accelerate the growth, success and profitability of companies focused on the SMB market.
What makes the B2SMB Institute unique from other SMB organizations is that it is trying to pull together insights and best practices from across all the SMB vertical segments, and from all the key business functions that drive revenue and profit- Marketing, Sales, Product, Ops, Service. …
Once upon a time, there were relatively few buyers of software companies: Google, IBM, Oracle and the like bought lots of companies. And for the most part, buying was concentrated in the hands of large, public tech companies like them.
The world is very different now. When we run stats on exits every quarter, we see a long tail of buyers. The large public tech companies continue to buy, but the buyer universe has expanded significantly. Many buyers are smaller, private companies you likely have not heard of, backed by private equity sugardaddies. And of course, the PE firms themselves are active buyers. …
We just published our Q1 State of SMB Software report, looking at all the venture, private equity, M & A + IPO deals in the SMB space for Q1. By any measure it was a torrid quarter with over $35B of deal value in the first three months of the year in North America.
There is so much capital in the market at the moment that it can be tempting to just keep raising. A few anecdotal data points: PostMates officially announced their IPO just one month after raising another $100M in January. This represents the company’s 3rd raise in the past 6 months. …
As a passionate advocate of both Canadian tech and the SMB software market, I have been waiting for some time for Lightspeed POS to go public. So, it was with great anticipation that I poured through their 211 page prospectus filing. Here are the highlights for me.
As we have written in our SMB software market thesis, most SMB markets are large and evergreen. Lightspeed shares some stats on their market that absolutely reinforce this.
According to Lightspeed, there are approximately 226 million SMBs around the world, including 47 million retailers and restaurants (these are their two core vertical markets). …
Mindbody shareholders got an early Christmas present on Dec. 24, when Vista Equity Partners agreed to buy them for $1.9B. As a devoted yogi, I have been a fan of Mindbody for years. While it was a relatively small public company, it still offers many lessons that other SMB-focused companies can learn from.
Takeaway #1: Good things take time
Founded in 2001, Mindbody develops business management software for yoga and Pilates studios, fitness facilities, spas, salons and other retail clients. While it spans several verticals, it is best known for its omnipresence in yoga studios.
For this history buffs, 2001 was still a very challenging time to launch companies after the dot com crash. From humble beginnings, the company just kept scaling. …
2018 marked our third year at SurePath. It was another exciting year!
We closed 8 deals in 2018, up from 4 the prior year. In addition to the announced deals below we did a secondary for a large SMB POS player, a raise for a vertical marketplace and an exit in the home services space that will be announced soon.
If you follow the public stock markets, then you might be reaching for a bottle of Gravol these days. The markets are going through some pretty wild swings at the moment driven by factors such as investor concerns about potential interest rate increases, US-China trade battles, Brexit uncertainty and a general consensus that the current bull market must come to an end sooner rather than later.
The Bessemer SaaS index is the closest public proxy we have to track valuation trends for tech companies. As you can see in the graph above, SaaS valuations have had a really strong run, significantly outperforming the broader stock market. …
Based in NYC and Stockholm, Sweden, Tictail is a mobile-first e-commerce platform serving emerging brands in over 140 countries. With funding from Acton Capital, Balderton Capital, Creandum & Thrive Capital, Tictail has built a large global community of shoppers and sellers.
Shopify is building the future of retail. Online, offline. Big brands, small brands. We can’t wait to see what comes of this combination.
This is our 6th deal for the year and 2nd this month, further reinforcing our strong track record in mergers & acquisitions and unparalleled access to SMB buyers.
If you would like to learn more about our strategic advisory practice, please get in touch.
If you read the tech press regularly, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s easy to raise capital these days. Every day is filled with new funding announcements. Rounds are getting bigger and happening faster.
However, the sad fact is that most companies that look to raise capital will not be able to. Why? Because they are just not special enough. Let’s unpack this sad truth.
First, let’s divide investors into two camps, early stage (VC) and late stage (growth/ private equity).
Early Stage Venture
Early stage investors are looking for outliers. Those rare companies that could make a fund. It is accepted wisdom that for every 10 investments a venture fund makes, only 1 or 2 will deliver significant returns. Several others will create nominal returns or just return capital. …