Driving company performance: What are you settling for?

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I was with one of my CEOs this morning. As we walked through the highs and lows of his business I made a suggestion that I want to pass on.

Nothing’s ever perfect in a startup, or life for that matter. Perfection is an illusion. However, on the startup journey the bulk of value gets created once everything starts to work.

Continue reading Driving company performance: What are you settling for?

Exits in Canada: July 2016

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I expected a Summer slow down, but July was pretty darn underwhelming with just 3 software acquisitions in Canada.  Highlights:

  • 3 deals announced (8 last month)
  • 1 of the deals had a disclosed value ($ 4.1M).
  • The companies were in Burlington, Montreal and Quebec City
  • None of the companies were VC-backed (2nd month in a row for this)
  • 1 buyer was Canadian, 1 US, and 1 from Europe
  • None of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 19 years (15 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 10 years
  • Longest time to exit: 26 years!
  • All of the buyers except one was strategic.

I will be doing a separate post on the IT exits so far this year in Canada. So far, it’s been a pretty underwhelming with some exceptions (Wind Mobile and Bitstrips).

As always, I report on these each month. If you’re interested in seeing the underlying data, I keep it here.

Continue reading Exits in Canada: July 2016

7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition

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The big news in the e-commerce World this week is Unilever’s purchase of Dollar Shave Club (DSC) for a cool $1B (cue the Dr. Evil laugh).

The simplest of ideas has gone from start to $1B in 5 years. This at a time when e-commerce has been going through ups and downs.

E-commerce is one of our three focus areas at SurePath. So, we have followed this company with interest. Here are my top 7 lessons from this runaway success. Some of them are counter to prevailing investor wisdom and how to win in e-ecommerce. Continue reading 7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition

Exits in Canada: June 2016

Screenshot 2016-07-04 17.04.47

June was yet another ‘meh’ month for software acquisitions in Canada.  Highlights:

  • 8 deals announced (9 last month)
  • 2 of the deals had a disclosed value (Largest was $ 32.5M).
  • 3 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Montreal, the rest were distributed
  • None of the companies were VC-backed
  • 3 of the buyers were Canadian, 3 were from the US, and 1 each for Europe and Asia
  • 4 of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 15 years (9 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 4 years
  • Longest time to exit: 25 years!
  • All of the buyers except one was strategic.

I will be doing a separate post on the IT exits so far this year in Canada. So far, it’s been a pretty underwhelming with some exceptions (Wind Mobile and Bitstrips).

As always, I report on these each month. If you’re interested in seeing the underlying data, I keep it here.