These are the Telltale Signs Your VC-Funded Startup is Ready For a Sale

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Picture this: after years of rejection, you’ve finally raised money to build one of the top streaming data platforms on planet Earth. 

You dominate your marketing and gain 400 downloads per day and a social media account with 600,000 followers making consistent organic conversions. 

One small problem remains; you have no idea how to monetize and your investors want you to sell. What do you do?

Jes Bickhart found himself in this very situation in the middle of COVID with his video streaming aggregation platform, Minnow. After a pivot, he decided to sell the business through a rather non-traditional way. 

Here’s how his story went.

Jes was in film production for about a decade after graduating from film school. 

In 2018, he caught wind that Disney was creating Disney+, its streaming competitor for Netflix. Jes realized there would soon be many different streaming services with different films, but no one tool to help people see which films were available across all platforms (and he was right).

Adam raised a round of funding and spent a year creating the tech for Minnow so that when it launched, customers could easily switch between phones, tablets, Roku, and more. He even had a successful social media account that posted film memes and racked up a huge following at its peak with three full-time workers in San Antonio on it.

But during COVID investors wanted to see profits and Minnow wasn’t profitable off subscriptions alone. They also had no way of placing ads. Jes realized the application would make more money as a B2B data source and made the pivot. It worked but ran into a snag that made him realize it was time to sell the business.

While he didn’t end up selling on, Jes credits Acquire’s onboarding and listing process as being instrumental for honing his business’s selling points.

With all that he needed after going through Acquire’s listing set up, rather than hire a traditional M&A advisor or investment bank, Jes was confident he could find a buyer himself. Putting in long hours he hatched together a cold Linkedin DM outreach plan to pitch a long list of companies that could possibly buy his business along with unique decks for each.

It proved successful as Jes landed a strategic buyer after 13 months of grinding through the acquisition process, closing a deal for seven figures. 

Jes’ journey is a case study on how determined founders can solve any problem. He shares incredible learnings from growing to pivoting and then selling a VC-backed business.  Here’s a preview of what he shared with Andrew:

  • How he built Minnow and why he waited a year for the tech to be perfect.
  • How he knew his startup wasn’t a full company, just a tool.
  • When selling, focus your time on the buyers who are looking for a reason to say “no”.
  • What sweat equity truly looks like if you want to sell your business by yourself.

Jes is already on to his next adventure as founder and CEO of Spectacle. Follow him here:

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