The Big Exit
The Big Exit

Episode 1 · 1 year ago

Going From an Idea to a $57MM Exit - A Discussion with Founder Justin Alanis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Justin Alanis took a personal frustration within the rental industry and turned his idea into a $57 Million all cash acquisition. In this episode, Justin shares his story on raising money, having less than 3 months of cash left, and what eventually led to a major acquisition by Real Page, a $7 Billion publicly traded company.

Justin describes how he went from an idea to getting his first $25k check from Sean Conway, his good friend, to help with getting things set up. He leveraged FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out] and salesmanship to sell the idea to customers before a single line of code was even developed. This led to his first $1.2MM seed round, which eventually led to raising over $20MM from institutional VCs and ultimately an exit. This is his story.

Soundbites

Transcription Snippet

Dan Daugherty

Welcome to the very first episode of the Big Exit, I'm your host Dan Daugherty and I'm very excited to have Justin Alanis as my first guest. Justin built and sold his previous company for $57 million in cash to Real Page in 2018. Justin, thank you for joining us.

Justin Alanis

Thanks for having me Dan, I did not realize that I would be the first guest, I'm honored.

Dan Daugherty

Well, thank you and, as you know, we go way back. For the listeners listening. I met Justin - Gosh, probably what seven or eight years ago when you first closed your seed round and we were at a conference - I think in San Francisco it was probably AIM or NAA and you had a small little booth. I think it was you and one other person and you and I hit it off. Fast forward eight years later and you having a really big exit to Real Page, which is a publicly traded company worth about seven billion dollars.

Justin Alanis

Yeah, it was an amazing journey now that you think back all the way back to that time. Probably when I met you, we probably didn't even have a product yet. Frankly, we were probably pitching vaporware at the time, but ultimately, as you know, we were able to build what our customers wanted and yeah did have a a relatively successful exit to Real Page at the end of the day.

Dan Daugherty

Well, let's start at the very beginning. why did you build Rentlytics? What challenges or problems were you solving for?

Justin Alanis

I think, like a lot of other entrepreneurs who don't come from the tech world or maybe even some that do come from the tech world, I was solving my own personal frustration in my previous job. I started my career in commercial real estate - private equity and I bounced around to a couple of different companies and started out as an analyst early on and then rose up to becoming a VP and partner at a large real estate private Equity Company.

All throughout my journey. I saw the same problems over and over again. The problem really revolved around data and access to information. It was crazy to me that I was running a multibillion dollar portfolio and yet I didn't have access to my information, except on maybe a monthly or quarterly basis.

The information was not that good when I got it. It made no sense to me that I could not get access to information in real time to be able to make more sophisticated and data driven decisions across my portfolio. So I I moved to San Francisco in 2010 to be with my fiance at the time, now my wife, and I saw my other friends in technology.

Welcoming to the big accent where wediscussed startum acquisition with the founders who lived in heres, your house,Dan Deardy, I came Ome, my wife was like: Did you see Jon and you sold thiscompany, for I think it was like ten or twelve O my bucks and I said Man I waslike that's crazy, like you k O, do you think I could do that? We had always wanted rent letex to be areally large company, I think actually, fifty seven million dollars. If I lookback on what my ambitions were when I started the wor tha the company, Iwould have told you at the beginning that that would have been a failure, probably one of the worst days of myprofessional career and, and that was a tough one toovercome ecause. We only had, I think, N oin three months of runway left, andso we really had to look across the table at one another and say: What arewe going to do? Welcome to the very first episode ofthe Big Exit, I'm your host Dandorty and I'm very excited to have JustinAledis, as my first guests. Justin built and sold his previous company forfifty seven million in cash to real page in Thosnd, a eighteen just inthank yo for joining us. Thanks for having me den, I did not realize that Iwould be the first guest I'm honor to to be so well. Well, thank you and, as you know,we go. We go way back h for the listeners theare listening. I metJustin Gosh, probably what seven or eight years ago when you first closedyour seed rounds and we were at a a conference- and I think San FranciscoWias, probably a or NAA and yet a small little booth. I think it was you andone other person and ounite hit it off and fast forward, eight years later andh having a having a really big exit to real page, which is a publy Tradeacompany worth about seven billion dollars yeah, it was an amazing journeynow that you think back to it t toall the way back to that time. Probablywhen I met you, we probably didn't even Hav have a product. Yet frankly, wewere probably pitching paporwear at the time, but ultimately, as you know, wewere able to build what our customers wanted and yeah did have a a relativelysuccessful exit to real page at the e of the day. Well, let's start the verybeginning. I mean, why did you? Why did you even build Rent Lintex? Whatchallenges or problems were you solving, for? I think, like a lot of otherelspreneurs who don't come from the TEC world or maybe even some that do comefrom the tech world. I was solving my own personal frustration in my previousjob. I started my career in commercial, real estate, private equity and I boucaround from to from a couple of different companies and started out asan analyst early on and t en rose up to becoming a BP and partner at a largereal estate, private Equity Company and all throughout my journey. I saw thesame problems over and over again and the problem really revolved around dataand access to information. It was crazy...

...to me that I was running a multibilliondollar portfolio and yet I didn't have access to my information, except onmaybe a monthly or quarterly basis. The information was not that good. When Igot it and it made no sense to me that I could not get access to informationin your real time to be able to make more sophisticated and data drivendecisions across my portfolio. So I I moved to San Francisco in two thousandand ten to be with my fiance. At the time now my wife and I saw my other friends in technology. Ihad built up a relationships and friendships with a lot of people whowere in and around tack, and I saw these different EGS it's happening andI came home one night to my to my wife and I said man, you know my buddy shawnis my my really good friend Jon Conway, who sold his company Notehall to Cheg at the time and thenHillo an anpeaereyeah and then H, and then he started pillow and sold that toExpedia, and I happened to be a little bit of a part of pillow as well, andShean was one of my first investors in rent litix and I I came home. My wifewas like. Did you see John Nd, you sold this company, for I think it was liketen or twelve O my bucks, and I said Man I was like that's crazy, like youknow, do you think I could do that she's, like yeah? You could definitelydo that. Well, what's the biggest problem in your industry- and I saidwell, it's data and access to information and I said well, why don'tyou go do that then? And so I spent the next. I don't know, probably six months,just ideating beating with friends, people like seawn, who are helpful tome and learning more about how to actually build the Tech Company how toactually build a product- and this was early before all these resources thatwe had day were available to early stage entrpreneurs. It's amazing theamount of information and feedback. That's now out there for anybodyconsume, but back then it just wasn't available and so really did it. The old fashioned way.Just talking to friends going to you know like early early stage, YCDemodays D and Events and learning about the industry, and so I eventuallyUm figured out that this is something that I wanted to pursue. I went intothe CE over company and, I said Hey. This is something I've been working onthe side and ideating on, and I think I want to go. Do this. That's that's crazy, Sai, then. So,then you have this idea. You H you I'm assuming. Who was your first angel? WASIT Sean Yeah? It was seawn actually, so he was a great friend of mine. I satdown with him. I started white boarding out product ideas and- and you know, Shawne like any goodenpreneur and any good investor saw an opportunity I think, to get a maybebetter deal than if he came on board in the seedround. So I made him an advisor gave him commonshares and a pretty healthy advisory. Um sharpackage, plus he invested at adiscounted rate that then converted into our seedround when when weactually raised- and so he invested, I...

...think twenty or twenty five thousanddollars with he and his partner just a Miller, and so it was a small amount ofmoney. But it was enough to get us going. It was we didn't pay ourselvessalary, but we had enough to at least start paying some expenses things likeaws and M and getting out getting our name out there re going to pitch eventsand things like that in order to start make getting some traction andactually start getting out there with customers and talking to them abouttheir painpoints and then so. It sounds like that was asafe or a convertible note. It was yeah. I don't think sath existed at the time,but so so it was more of a convertible note and we eventually did it safe in alater round, but saves I don't think we're around at that time. Okay, so youhad Y had your convertible note, you probably got other Um investors on board and then and then hestarted to do a proof of concept. Did your MVP minimum biable products andthen and then did you raise from there from recovertable note that you thenraise a series a or how that go yeah. So, after that, what we did was we usethat opportunity to start actually building our product and building aproof of concept? What you call an MBP, though we didn't launch the actualproduct of customers for another year after that, but we use that opportunityalso to get t to demonstrate early product market fit. We would go intocustomers' large private ecquity companies similar to to Wat. I camefrom and said, hey. I know you have this problem because over the prior osix months I had been meeting with people at Conferences asking them. Howdo you do this and everybody said same thing? We compilitated to microsopticCELF. We have a team of analysts that do it, and so I knew that this was aproblem, and so I walked into these people, and I I had a presentation withsome screen shots of the product that we hoped to build one day, and I said Isaid if, if I built this, would you buy it and resoundingly across the board? Everyonesaid yes, and so I had these early customers sign in Loy. It was notnonbinding letter of intent that said that theywould buy it for at the time it was a dollar a unit a month, so twelve bucksa unit a year and I was able to drum up about sixty thousand units of interestrepresenting. You know several hundred thousand dollars of potential ACV atthe end of the day, and then we parlaid that into an investment. So I wentaround Silkon valley and happened to get in with Trinity Ventures, one of mybuddies Um, who ihad met through who, as also building real estate technologycompany at the time, called banion water guy named Kaman, Kennet, packitand Tamman, introduced me to trendy ventures and I walked into the office with my cofounder. Who is my who's? Also, the CTO O the company- and I remember NolFetton, who was one of the founders of Trinity Ventures and he had investedback in the day in Loupnet and a number of other PROBTEC companies. Eventually,he also invested in VTS and he sat down...

...and said: okay, he said well, you knowwe get ten thousand applications or or deck fromopors and we talk to a hundredand we invest in ten every year, an s. So he said you guys are now at thehundred stage and you know we'll see if you can get tothe ten, and so he sent one of his eirs a guy by the name of Tom Burn. who wasthe forgn president and coo of Lutenet and then had become an EIR tranityventures? And Tom was doing a lot of real estate tach and vesting at thetime, and so he sent Tom out to meet with US and before the end of thatconversation with calm, we met in a cafe Tom said: okay, I'm in I'm Gongtome I'm going to invess and so that opened up the floog gates, having aname like that, an early named like that. It just needed that one person to lend credibility to the venture that wewere doing and then all of a sudden it was like. We couldn't fill theroundfast enough. U The Trinity Ventures Wone to be in other vcs wanted to beanother angel evester's woned to be in. It was all because of Tom Burn early T,early being the first kind of brand name and bastor pricing establishing the round structure.Putting in, I think he put in a couple hundred thousand dollar check and wewere off to the races, wow. So a couple of things I love how creative you werein really proving out the montization prior to even having a product that youcould actually sell and obviously that resodated well with the with the contact within your space toto take the leap and invest and n what I found is many investors, obviouslyinvesting the team first and foremost, but also having that proof of concept where you actually hada couple hundred thousand dollars worth of. I guess somewhat committed Um. You knowwith your letter Ventet, which I think I is amazing. That's that's supercreative, so that so that led the series a and that gave you additionalfunding to then grow this out, the actually that was actually the seeroundand we raised, I think one point two million, and then we started actuallybuilding real products, and so we hired a couple F, a couple more engineers andrealized that building out what we were building was much more difficult thanwe originally thought. It would be the amount of data aggregation that wentinto this in terms of aggragating data from oldlegacy. Technology systems that existed in the space was no small feat. We realized thatthere was no robost apis in the ecosystem, so we couldn't just tap intotheir API infrastructure. Instead, we had to do all sorts of creative thingsto get access to this information, and most of it was actually pulling datafrom static reports that our customers were used to, using on a daily weeklyand monthly basis, things like monthly...

...activity reports and monthly financialsand daily ocumatsa reports, and pulling out rentral information and andtenantinformation and financial information. And so we had to build this very robustUm data infrastructure. That would kick upworkers every night and then then slow them down and spend them down everymorning, and it would be a nightly bash processing, and then we also had tofigure out how to build out the Ui and what customers actually wanted from theUI perspective. Was this going to be a Workflo tool as this going to be moreof a true business intelligence tool? And so we had to make some decisionslike that Nd. I can tell you that my background of not knowing how to buildtechnology companies and not knowing much about technology at the time. Ithink, really hindered us in those early days because it took us a whileto get product market fit and build the product. But ultimately- and I wish we had allthe resources that we had today in order to help us navigate through thosetimes. But ultimately we ended up doing it. We ended up launching watching aproduct and it was interest. It took us a year and a half. I think, and weactually had to raise a little bit of a bridge round in order to bridge usthrough that period and ar existing investors stepped up and and we wereable to prove even more demand as we were building the product and we wereable to raise another three million dollars during that time period, and sowe were well capitalized and then we launched, and it just took off it wasit was. There was just so much pent up demanded in the industry and there wasno competition at the time and then real page and Yardi. Shortlyafter we launched our product, they launched their own BI products. It waslike this race to build the analytics products that the industry sodesperately needed, but we had a unique advantage in that we were the only callit agnostic tool m in the industry, where we couldt tap into many differentsystems that folks used. And so, if you were a single stack owner and manager,you could go with yardy or you could go with real page. But we started thegenesis of our company being agnostic in nature, so that if you were an ownerlike one of our customers who later became one of our largest customers,blackstone or another, one was starwood capital. Blackstone had fifty thousandunits and they had thirty five different managers in systems that theywere trying to acces stat of from you could imagine the headache go throughon a daily basis, and so we were able to tap into all thirty five of thosedifferent systems and aggradate that information ad give them one unifiedtruth source of truth for their information, and that was a gamechanger for companies like that did did having real page and Yardi, who areclearly the the juggernauts within the space. Didthat did that motivate you to roll out additional features, or did it scareyou a little bit of both, I think M, when these big jugornauts? I don'tthink it scared us so much as it m. It led us to certain decision that we, itled us to make certain decisions that...

...perhaps we would not have made in Um.In other circumstances, the pressure of competition made us, I think, a littlebit more reactive to our customer needs and demands, and when you're buildingenterprise Sass N, that I think ended up hurting us. For example, we built aton of custom features and dashwords for specific customer needs, likeblackstone starwer capital when they represent twenty thirty percent of your customerbase or your ACV Base Um. I it causes you to say: Okay, listen. You have thisproblem. This person has this problem: let's build a unified product, you'retrying to solve this more immediateny, because you know that the threat ofthem potentially leaving down the road where one of those other othercompanies was significant. Also we would we saw a changinglandscape during that time period where initially we had this call it blueocean of opportunity in front of us, but what we found is that, becauseYardian real page had ingrained Um an imbedded customer base, they were ableto cross, sell this product into and bundle this product into theirofferings. That made create an NECO system where we in most cases, werethey won. Those deals were not able to even get in the door and compete onthose deals, and so we would come across companies that they said Yeahwe're using ARDIA RHYAN or we're using real PHEBI. It's like well, did you gothrough a competitive process? Did you fet other technologies 'cause? We knewthat we were the superior technology, but a lot of these folks at the time,especially just weren't, doing their homework. They weren't as sophisticatedas they are today and they went with easy approach and Ardian real page were using tactics like bundling their biplatform in for free for the first year. But then, when you had to renew, thenyou had to pay for it and it put us in a situation where it was. It was toughto compete under those circumstances. What did you do? Did that helpaccelerate one raising additional funding, but did it also make you startthinking about w? Maybe maybe this is a good opportunity to maybe maybe sellthe company a little bit of both. I think we had always wanted rent lettexto be a really large company, I think, actually, fifty seven million dollars.If I look back on what my ambitions were when I started the wor th thecompany, I would have told you at the beginning that that would have been afailure. Now. I look back on it differently now, clearly, becausecircumstances changed and the landscape changes over time, but ultimately I it caused. I think itcreated us to look at the situation n in more realistic terms. We weren'table to build, I think, a materially differentiated product that had networkeffects and other really important factors that create huge defense,abilities and motes at scale, and I think that was more at the nature of ofthe problem that we were solving rather than the product itself, and as aresult of that, what happened was that we we were able to get to about amillion units little over a million unutes when we ultimately sold thecompany, which represents probably...

...somewhere around five percent of t, thetotal market. And when you looked at thetotal addresswel market for what we were building just straight up. If youdid the number of units timed, the Price Por unit that we were charging,our total djrustable market was more like two hundred three hundred milliondollars and this creataed in an environment where we were competingwith these big jugornauts. They were eating out some of the market, so wedidn't have nearly as much room to crow. We had other ambitions to build mtechnology that I would say, would be differentiated at scale things likebenchmarking and using our dat and really interesting and unique ways n,but we were just never really able to get to that second act, because we wereso busy building our core product, and so we were never able to reach escapevelocity for for the business and we were growing nicely we're gowing over ahundred percent year overy year, but we just never felt like we reached thatpoint where, where things just felt friction less and they always felt likethey were full of friction, and I know that with most startop, that's the case, but never felt like we, we just kind ofreached that next level, and so with all those things having having been in existence.Raising money started to become more difficult over our H as we grew, and so, as we raised ourseries a it became somewhat difficult. We raised some strategic capital plustacked on some venture capital. We raised ten million dollars in ourseries a but then, when we came to our series B, things started getting alittle bit even more difficult, because people really questioned our Tam andwhether we could move outside of our court market and start creating otherproducts that would increase our total dressabl market opportunity and venturecapital. Folks looked at that, I think, and what they want to see is. Can I addfuel fire here? Do you have a product where x you ow APLUS, B, equal c likeif I just throw water on this and you've nailed your customer quosition?Can this grow to be a billiong dollar company and our cort product? Theanswer o? That was clearly no, and so it left B CS looking at this and sayingwell, this is going to take more R and t effort which costs money. Then you'regoing to have to take new products to market which is going to cost even moremoney and there's no guarantee that those products are going to besuccessful, and so it caused a situation. I think where we startedhaving to c having done really battle. Those market forces in our series B weare able to. Finally, after a six month, effer get a series b term sheet and then, ona day of closing, to no fault of our own frankly Um and look back on this inmany different ways, the our our series b partner walked away Um. You know itwas a weird circumstance: They were a new fund. There was a VP who wasrunning the deal, who probably didn't have the authority that they said theydid. We signed the termshee all over imbestors were on board and then theyth y. They took the offer back basically on what was supposed to bethe day of closing it was it was. It was a really toughsituation, probably one of the worst...

...days of my professional career and, and that was a tough one to toovercome ecause. We only had, I think at that point three months of threemonths of runway left, and so we really had to look across the table at oneanother and say: What are we going to do? Wow, so was that the turning point thatwas that day at the turning point yeah, it was the turning point. It wasdefinitely the turning point where we said well. Maybe these ambitions well.First of all picking picking up where we left off with a series B. We hadtalked to so many folks throughout that process and gotten over a hundred noses,probably, and we got one yes and and then when we, when we um when we started moving into how do wefix this situation? We we looked at, we looked across thetable and all of a sudden, some of our venture partners started. You knowtaking advantage of the situation, we got one term sheet from one venturepartner. This is not tring to veventures, by the way that we thoughtwas an atrocious offer where they wanted to do a cram down on the CAPtable for people. Whodin't Ben committed the round Dbrigas and itwould have diluted our control and our equity and pretty much the entirecompany would would have been given control over to this private AC or overto this BC group, and then a couple of our Stratigiam pasters came togetherand basically bridged us with a loan to get us to the other side, and so thatthat whole process was really stressful, tried to manage it very respectfullyduring that time period, but ultimately were able to raise four million dollars.But as part of that agreement, we we said to all of Ur investors andourselves. We owe it to the company to not just go down the series b route,but we also should explore a sale opportunity and so then, for the nextsix months we went on a duel track path and we hired a banker and we evaluatedwhat a sal would look like while continuing down the Path F, looking atwhat we could get from a series B, partnership got it and then, and then so youse you hired aninvestment banker and did they get a percentage? How thatwork? Did they get a percentage of what the exit would be? They they did. They got a percentagethat was escalating based on the price, so we went and we interviewed manydifferent investment banks and one roase to the top FERASA. A company outof San, Diego Um guy by name of Brad, weaks and Brad,was amazing and he runs atfirm with Alen Um called Seg, and they had doneother transactions in and around our space and actually sold a couple ofother companies too real page. And so we thought that, based on where we werein terms of price, that they really fit what we wanted and they understan stoodour technology and they understood the vision for what we were trying to dowith Rantlidix. It was kind of a no brainer for us to move down the pathwith them and we negotiated a little bit on price. But it wasn't that big ofa sticking point for us. Frankly, we...

...wanted to Wright investment bankingpartner, ultimately, in order to take us out to market, create and craft theright, narrative and message for us and also show what the opportunity could beunder the right organization. And so I can't remember what the numbers wereexactly, but I remember that they had a fixed fee up to a certain price thatthey thought we'd sell at and then, as we hit different hurdles for differentprices, they would get an accelerator. So they helped you with putting all the narrative together,isolating the potential partners that could acquire you guys. Obviously realpage, I'm Sureyardi and and some others were part of that, and then then what happened did they did theystart setting up meetings? FWORE YOU and the executive teen to startpitching yeah. We spent about two months really preparing the narrativepreparing the initial deck and the story around it: preparing thefinancial model and getting all of our data room, an information together. Theentire process from beginning to end took about from from the time that wehired an investment making partner or actually started searching forinvestment being partner to the time we sold the business it took about ninemonths, and so, and I think that was the expectation that they said early on.Although I th, I think that we originally thought that we could gofaster, but if you think about all the different Um h segments in in andthings that need to happen associated with a sale it it took that long, andso we got all of our information together and then we put a listtogether of people and we teered them out ter one two: Three: We wanted somewarm up where people we knew, who weren't going to be even remotelyinterested or maybe marginally interested, or we wouldn't beinterested in selling to them. We wanted to t e G, go with them, firstget our reps in and then we went to some of the companies that we thoughtwere really potentially interested in buying us and could pay um top dollar for the business and so and we segmented them into privateequity companies, as well as a publibl, traded war or privately held companiesin publicly traded companies. But what we'd call more strategic acquirers andwe knew that the stratetic ancuoirs would be willing to pay more, but wealso wanted to go down the path of the private equity partnership route. Justin case there was a compelling deal to be had there and then you had you hadthose meetings and then and h n. What happened is it like? was there like twoor three that started competing? was there only one that was really the bestfit? What Madjyou guys decide to go with real page yeah? So we we went downdown that path. Had I don't know forty initial meetings and it really quicklystarted to whittle its way down, and one company was particularly interested,not real page, but I I don't think I can actually say their name due to NDA,but one company was particularly interested and actually, in thebeginning of this process, we decided strategically that we were not going togo out to real page and Yardi, at least at the beginning, and if we were goingto introduce them into the process, it...

...would be much later in the process and the reason we did that was becausethey had competing products. We felt a little m sensitive to the idea thatwell, first of all, we didn't think that they'd be actually be interestedin buying us because they had competing products ye already. We kind ofeliminate because they've never really been active or engaged in the inacquisitions, and they typically build themselves. But real page was interesting. I didn'thave at that time. A relationship was steek win. I met him once in passing,and so we were volved in this process, an meeting with companies and then NAAhappened down in San Diego and I got invided to at dinner, and this was atthe time now now two big public traded companies were involved in the processand they were they were starting to bid on the business and they were directcompetitors with real page, and I I just so happened to go to this dinner.ANAA and Steepe wind was there and I ended up sitting next to him. At thisdinner. It was a buddy of Min NAM named Sina, who who ran the dinner in ChrisHerndin, who now runs a company called Gild, inviteme the dinner and and Steve was there, and I sat rightnext to him and he looked at me said how's your business going, and I saidYou ow we're doing pretty well actually Steve we're in the process ofpotentially selling the business or getting acquired, and two of yourbiggest competitors are currently offering on our on our business, and Idon't know if you guys would be interested. But you know, if you are,let me know we would. We would enjoy discussing it with you and literallyduring that, during that dinner, Steve Tried to put out his hand after westart talking. He asked me about emetrics and said: Oh, we definitely beinterested and he tried to basically do a handshake deal right there at thetable. Literally Right Therehe said I'll. Do I'll. Do that deal right nowfor this price and I said it' Steve, I C I can't commit that. I said I got. Igotto talk to my banker, but here's what I can promise you as I can get youinvolved in the process, and we can give you that information and so atthree M that night, Steve emailed me and I looped in our banker. They hadalready known each other. He looked in their head of acquisitions, Mike Britty,whos, great guy and and really helped us through the process, and thenwe then had a competitive process with one really hungry company and two othercompanies that really wanted the business, and it was a situation thatyou kind of dream of when, when you go through the CE sales process, now allthe while we had at the same time secured a series B partnership and wehad a termsheet with mass mutual ventures who we really loved those guys,and so we, the evaluation, was a little lower thanwe ultimately sold for, but we had optionality on the table, and so we hadgone from a situation six months prior where we were dead in the water.Looking at each other and hoping that the business didn't go under to asituation that was fairly emviable, wow and...

NDAS. You know I kn, I know Mirit enstwin and cris, and everyone else, and just the fact that you were placedthere. I think also. I was a turning point for you, which is t e lesson learned. You knowalways if you're, if you're company endsyou're grolling Your Business, and you have really exit in mind even startingnow, even if you're going to sell, maybe four or five years out, evenstarting now developing those relationships with with big partnerswithin the industry and knowing their CEO and knowing their their head of eAna. Just just is one of the most important things that you could. Youcould potentially do allright, so so Steve Wyn, they're interusted, it's atall castdeal, so you got no real paid stock correct. Well, I got real PAGstock from a management incentive package that they put together for me,but the deal itself was all cash, and you know one of the reasons westructured t that way and didn't structure it with an ern out wasbecause we didn't quite know how the products their product and our productwould ultimately come together and- and so it made us, I think, all feeluncomfortable without a a true understanding of what the revenuetargets would be for the combined Um products and knowing that theintegration and figuring out how to actually combine these products and howto maneuvre through the customer, the two different customer bases would bechallenging, and so we weren't willing to go there, and I think that theycompletely understood that, and so we always positioned it as an all cashdeal, and we went through different series of negotiations where,ultimately, we went through a best and final process and real page came inwith the better number by about eight percent over the the nearest Um, the other, the other two companies, andso it was for us real pait had the. I would say the worst terms in terms ofthings like liability and indomifications and fraud, and and weknew that their due diligence process was going to be prealy difficultbecause Brad had been through it before and said. These guys are tough throughUDILL's process, and but they will get the deal done and we had a largerholdback as a result of going with real page. But ultimately, the deal madesense for us and real pages lived up to their word ultimately, and we got, Ithink we had a fourteen percent hold back and that was based on things likefraud and negligence and other things like that and not earn out and- and they have been true to their wordin terms of of delivering on on the next payments as well as Um. They gavethe team a nice management in t cenate package to be able to stick around forfor a period of time. That's Tas a great story, and if youwere to do things all over again with you know, with your new company N,let's say you exit in a couple of years. What would you do differently? Um? Ithink most of what I do differently...

...actually happens at the beginning of off the company, because that sets such a trajectory for the company and so before I started this new business. Isat down and thought through. Where did we start? Where did the prajectory go acertain direction, Otrent litics, and what decisions really made it so thatwe exidedd for fifty seven instead of five hundred and seventy million and'cause? I do geneally believe that if I knew what I know now and if I werestarting rent lidics over, I think that that at that time that we could havehad a five hundred plus million dollar exit. I think the opportunity was there.I just think that we made some missteps in the early early stages of thebusiness, and so that's been a really important lesson for me and one of thefirst and most important lessons for me was making sure that I had really greatcofounders surrounding me at this business, and so that was the firstthing I did in a my new start up, as I made sure that I had people who rounded out my skillsets and and andmade up for my weaknesses of what I saw as my greatest weaknesses in in RentLinex, and I think that was the biggest lesson for me is to make sure thet havereally good people next to me at this new business, where it can be a realtrue collaborative team effort from a founding perspective and and be able togrow a company together and people who have done it before also yeah. That'sthat's really great advice for any any enchbreneurs that are looking to startand grow really a multimillion or a hundred million dollar plus business.Just and thank you so much for your time and once again I appreciate youbeing the the first ever interview on the big exit, a monored thanksdand,really preshit, scrape.

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