After weeks of negotiation hoopla, legal paperwork, and minutae, I can finally get something off my chest. My first company (and one true love), IdeaTango, was recently bought by another industry player, InventBay.com. Here is today’s press release.
I’m taking a cue from Norm Brodsky, who wrote about his highly publicized acquisition in Inc Magazine while it was still taking place (and falling through and then taking place again). Because of its public nature, I can’t get too much into the details, but I’d still like to share my experience with some of you who might find yourself in the same position one day.
After two years of not knowing what would happen the day-after-tomorrow, it’s finally good to know that my partners and I have had a successful exit. That doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to work for the acquiring company, we will, it just means that our few years of doubt and hard work, have had their first payoff. The second payoff will be in working with InventBay (a publicly traded pink sheet company) to maximizing their value to shareholders and owners.
It’s funny though, because there were definitely days that I didn’t know how much longer IdeaTango would be around. Usually it had to do with cash. Sometimes I had to reach into my own pockets. Later, I had to ask for help from my inner circle of friends and family. As you can see my earlier posts, we even thought about approaching professional investors.
We made the decision to sell the company for three reasons. First, we realized we needed more resources ($$) to take IdeaTango to its full potential. Second, we realized that we were running low on both the time and energy needed to pitch, get rejected by, and then acquire some investors. The time horizon for selling a company like ours would save 75% of the time. Third, my partners and I sacrificed for two years (no salary, no benefits) and needed a shot in financial arm to rejuvenate us.
It was not an easy decision to make, and of course I would have liked IdeaTango be sustained and grow using its own internal cash flow. But with a model like ours, which requires a long time horizon, that just wasn’t possible. Perhaps that’s a lesson learned for my next startup.
Overall though, my partners and investors were happy with the deal. Myself, Pablo, and maybe even Lisa will continue in some capacity with the acquiring company.
Feel free to ask me questions about how my experience might apply to your situation.
- Bryan Daigle