I recently sold my technology business, when a few months later I was approached by a company, not aware that I had sold my venture, that offered me a price of a multiple more than I had realised. Whoaaaaa!!! How could this be? I had never heard of this company. Nor had my advisers. Yet they were big. It started me thinking...
Most of us if we are lucky, sell a company only once. Some super-talented people do it several times. We might do this ourselves. If we can afford retainer fees, we might use an adviser to find a buyer. The adviser will typically approach one person in each company, for example, the CFO. But what about all the other decision makers of that company, the CEO, Chairman, CTO, Board Members, Strategy Director, CCO and Shareholders. What about other companies and individuals not on the list, not in this country or even continent? There are often hundreds of potential buyers. Corporate buying decisions are fluid and changing all the time. Neither you nor a single adviser alone could be expected to know all the current possibilities.
It had also struck me how ventures not conforming to the traditional M&A convention of large, profitable trading businesses are often considered too difficult, too early or uneconomical to sell, yet often own significant intellectual property or have developed a valuable market advantage. Now why can’t there be an online marketplace specialising in the sale of IT, digital and technology ventures at ALL stages of development, from prototype to pre-users and pre-revenue, to profitable trading businesses. The entire transaction could take place online, including a free sale and purchase agreement to save the buyer and seller weeks of time and thousands of pounds.
A marketplace like this could access not just one M&A decision maker in a company, but all of them at once, in all companies, globally. It could empower and incentivise the Crowd to leverage the knowledge of thousands of business and IT executives to introduce potential buyers. It would add liquidity to the whole development life cycle of technology companies, from prototype or pre-revenue through to profitable trading businesses, increasing vital reinvestment back into the sector. And so, CrowdMnA came to be.