The M&A and IPO markets for VC-backed companies is hot right now, and there is much attention on the huge wins like Whatsapp, King, Grubhub, and many others.
But there is also a lot of activity at the lower end of the market (exits in $12M – $30M range), and I think there are several prime forces behind these exits that we’ve experienced with some of our seed-stage deals that were sold quickly:
Over the years I have stumbled on some documentary movies that were not overtly about entrepreneurs, but turn out to be. They are various portraits of people who have managed to channel their obsession to accomplish great things.
- Man on Wire. this movie is about a French tightrope walker who decided at a young age that he was going to walk on a tightrope between the twin towers in NYC knowing that he would never be given permission. The movie chronicles the multi-year preparation of the mission, including recruiting a team to implement his crazy idea. Want to know the qualities of a good entrepreneur? Watch this movie.
- Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. This movie made me realize that Joan Rivers is a true entrepreneur. She has worked harder in her 80s than most people work over their whole career. You also get the sense of her complete devotion to her craft.
If you are a SaaS business, heed this warning: Integrate. Or die.
At OCA, we continuously evaluate our investment themes. We look for long-term, sustainable macro trends. If we are right about these themes, it gives us two advantages: (1) our companies will have more margin of error in execution. In niche markets, a company has to execute flawlessly but in large and growing markets fueled by macro trends, you can screw up a couple of things and still achieve a good exit for all shareholders. And (2) once educated in a theme, there are great economies of scale in due diligence, exits, recruiting, deal sourcing and other areas.