Startup Acquisition Stories with David Sorbara, Founder of Barkley HQ

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Have you ever gone to a store and watched the person behind the counter manually write down your purchase in a notebook? Probably not recently – but everyone used to do it. 

So what changed? People created software that tracks inventory a lot better, that’s what. And the world is full of little efficiency gaps like this waiting for solutions.

Canadian founder, David Sorbara created his SaaS business for dog groomers, Barkley HQ, when he noticed that every dog groomer used the same type of physical wall calendar for scheduling appointments. If there was a candidate for a great CRM, it was them.

But before making a product, David did what every good bootstrapped founder should do and visited groomers to validate the idea. One of these talks ended up producing his biggest and most loyal client.

David whizzed past 25 paying customers off little more than an idea. First he created a basic digital calendar to replace the big paper calendar with appointments scribbled in that he saw on the wall in every groomer. 

Then, he created a CRM tool – he calls it a PRM (Pet Relationship Manager). He made some special calibrations like letting groomers search for pets by breed, size, client name, or pet name.

Finally, after 4 years, he was starting to burn out and ready to sell. He listed on Acquire and was immediately busy, fielding roughly 80 NDAs and getting on the phone with as many as 40 interested buyers.

After creating a solution and running it for four years fully bootstrapped, David exited his business for a high six-figure sticker price in May of 2023. Now, he’s searching for his next project while preparing to use his earnings to move to Palm Beach Florida.

Listen to his talk with Andrew to hear about:

  • The one conversation that made David know his SaaS idea would work
  • The most important hire to make at a growing startup you hope to sell
  • Why “Point SaaS” businesses generate huge interest on marketplaces like

David’s just getting started and you can follow him at the following links:

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