The Big Exit
The Big Exit

Episode 1 · 2 years 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 exit where we discussed start up acquisitions with the founders who lived in here's your host, Damn Doherty. I came on, my wife was like, did you see, Joan? You sold this company for I think it was like ten or twelve my books. I said, man, it's like that's crazy, like you know, do you think I could do that? We had always wanted rent lytics to 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 or the company, I would have told you at the beginning that that would have been a failure, probably one of the worst days of my professional career. And and that was a tough one to overcome because we only had, I think at that point, three months of runway left, and so we really had to look across the table at one another and say what are we going to do? Welcome to the very first episode of the Big Exit. I'm your host, Dan Doherty, and I'm very excited to have Justin Alan Eas as my first guest. Justin built and sold his previous company four hundred and fifty seven million in cash to real page in two thousand and eighteen. Justin thank you for joining us. Thanks for having me, Dan. I did not realize that I would be the first guest on honor to be so well well, thank you and and, as you know, we go, we go way back. For the listeners, they are listening. I met Justin Gosh, probably what seven or eight years ago, when you first closed your seed rounds, and we were at a conference, and I think San Francisco is probably a more Anaa, and youet a small little booth. I think it was you and one other person and you and I hit it off. And fast forward eight years later and having a having a really big exit too real page, which is a publicly traded company worth about seven billion dollars. Yeah, it was an amazing journey, now that you think back to it, to all the way back to that time, probably when I met you, we probably didn't even have to 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 relatively successful exit to real page at the end of the day. Well, let's start the very beginning. I mean why did you? Why did you even build rent lytics? What challenges are problems were you solving? For? 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 bouts around from to it, from a couple 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. And all throughout my journey I saw the same problems over and over again, and 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 and it made no sense to me that I could not get access to information in near real time to be able to make more sophisticated and data driven decisions across my portfolio. So I moved to San Francisco in two thousand and ten to be with my fiance at the time, now my wife, and I saw my other friends in technology. I had built up a relationships and friendships with a lot of people who were in and around tech and I saw these different eggs. It's happening. And I came home one night to my to my wife, and I said, man, you know my buddying shawn is my really good friend Sean Conway, who sold his company Note Hall to Cheg at the time and then Hillo and yeah, that's great. Yeah, and then he and then he started pillow and sold that to Expedia and I happen to be a little bit of a part of pillow as well, and Sean was one of my first investors in rent lytcs. And I came home my wife was like, did you see John? You sold this company for I think it was like ten or twelve my books. I said man, I was like that's crazy, like you know, do you think I could do that? She's like yeah, you could definitely do that. Well, what's the biggest problem in your industry? And I said, well, it's data and access to information. And said well, why don't you go do that then? And so I spent the next I don't know, probably six months just ideating, meeting with friends, people like Sean, who are helpful to me, and learning more about how to actually build a tech company, how to actually build a product. And this was early before all these resources that we have to day were available to early stage entrepreneurs. It's amazing the amount of information and and feedback that's now out there for anybody consume, 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 y see demo days and events and learning about the industry. And so I eventually figured out that this is something that I wanted to pursue. I went into the CEO of our company and I said, Hey, this is something I've been working on the side and ideating on and I think I want to go do this. That's that's crazy. So then, so, then you have this idea. You you know, I'm assuming who was your first angel? WAS AT SEAN? Yeah, was Sean actually. So he was a great friend of mine. I sat down with him, I started white boarding out product ideas and and Sean, like any good entrepreneur and any good investor, saw an opportunity I think, to get a maybe better deal than if he came on board in the sea rounds. So I made him an advisor, gave him common shares and pretty healthy advisory share package. Plus he invested at a discounted rate. That then converted into our seed round when when we actually raised and so he invested I think twenty or twenty five thou...

...with he and his partner Justin Miller and so there's a small amount of money but it was enough to get us going. It was a we didn't pay ourselves to salary, but we had enough to at least start paying some expenses, things like aws and and getting out, getting our name out there, going to pitch events and things like that in order to start make getting some traction and actually start getting out there with customers and talking them about their pain points. And then so sounds like that was a safe or a convertible note. It was. Yeah, I don't think safe existed at the time, but so it was more of a convertible note and we eventually did a safe in a later round. But safes, I don't think we're around at that time. Okay, so you had you had your convertible note. You probably got other investors on board and then, and then he started to do a proof of concept. Did your MVP minimum biable products? And then, and then did you raise from there, from your convertible note that you then raise a series a? Or how that go? Yeah, so after that what we did was we use that opportunity to start actually building our product and building a proof of concept, what you what you call an MVP, though we didn't launch the actual product a customers for another year after that. But we use that opportunity also to get to demonstrate early product market fit. We would go into customers, large private equity companies similar to the one I came from, and said, Hey, I know you have this problem because over the prior six months I had been meeting with people at Conferences asking them how do you do this, and everybody said same thing. We compiled dated to microsoftic cell. We have a team of analyst that do it, and so I knew that this was a problem and so I walked into these people and I had a presentation with some screenshots of the product that we hope to build one day and I said, I said, if if I built this, would you buy it? And resoundingly across the board. Everyone said yes, and so I had these early customers sign in Eli. It was not nonbinding letter of intent that said that they would buy it for at the time it was a dollar unit a month, so twelve bucks a unit a year. And I was able to drum up about sixtyzero units of interest, representing, you know, several hundred thousand dollars of potential ACV at the end of the day. And then we parlayed that into an investment. So I went around Silicon Valley and happen to get in with Trinity Ventures. One of my buddies who I had met through who was also building real estate technology company at the time called banion water, guy named Tim and Timmoth Peckett and Tammin, introduced me to trinity ventures and I walked into the office with my cofounder, who is my who's also the cteo of the company. And I remember Noel Fenton, who was one of the founders of Trinity Ventures and he had invested back in the day and loopnet and a number of other proptech companies. Eventually he also invested in VTS and he sat down and said okay, he said, well,...

...you know we get tenzero applications or decks from entrepreneurs and we talked to a hundred and we invest in ten every year. You See. So he said, you guys are now at the hundred stage and you know, we'll see if you can get to the ten. And so he sent one of his ears, a guy by the name of Tom Burne, who was the former president and coo of loopnet and then had become an ir at Trinity Ventures and Tom was doing a lot of real estate tech investing at the time, and so he sent Tom out to meet with US and before the end of that conversation with Tom, we met in a cafe, Tom said, okay, I'm in, I'm going to be I'm going to invest, and so that opened up the floodgates. Having a name like that in early, name like that, it just needed that one person to lend credibility to the venture that we were doing. And then all of a sudden it was like we couldn't fill the round fast enough. Trinity Ventures wanted to be in, other VC's want to be in, other angel investors wanted to be in. It was all because of Tom Burne. Early early being the first kind of brand name investor pricing, establishing the round structure, putting in I think he put in a couple hundred thousand dollar check and we were off to the races. Wow. So a couple of things. I love how creative you were in really proving out the monetization prior to even having a product that you could actually sell, and obviously that resonated well with the with the contacts within your space to to take the leap and invest. And and what I found is many investors obviously investing the team first and foremost, but also having that proof of concept where you actually had a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of I guess, somewhat committed, you know with your letter of intent, which I think is amazing. That's that's super creative. So that so that led the series a and that I gave you additional funding to then grow this out. Then I was actually that was actually the seed round and we raised I think one point two million and then we started actually building real product, and so we hired a couple of a couple more engineers and realize that building out what we were building was much more difficult than we originally thought it would be. The amount of data aggregation that went into this in terms of aggregating data from old, legacy technology systems that existed in the space was no small fee. We realize that there was no robust apis in the ecosystem, so we couldn't just tap into their API infrastructure. Instead, we had to do all sorts of creative things to get access to this information, and most of it was actually pulling data from static reports that are customers were used to using on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, things like monthly activity reports and monthly financials and daily...

...occupancy reports, and pulling out rental information and and tenant information and financial information. And so we had to build this very robust data infrastructure that would kick up workers every night and then slow them down and spin them down every morning, and it would be a nightly batch processing. And then we also had to figure out how to build out the UI and what customers actually wanted from the UI perspective. Was this going to be a workflow tool? Was it's going to be more of a true business intelligence tool? And so we had to make some decisions like that, and I can tell you that my background of not knowing how to build technology companies and not knowing much about technology at the time, I think really hindered us in those early days because it took us a while to get product market fit and build the product. But ultimately, and I wish we had all the resources that we had today in order to help us navigate through those times. But ultimately we ended up doing it. We ended up launching, launching a product and it was interesting. It took us a year and a half, I think, and we actually had to raise a little bit of a bridge round in order to bridge US through that period. In Art existing investor stepped up and and we were able to prove even more demand as we were building the product and we were able to raise another three million dollars during that time period and so we were well capitalized. And then we launched and it just took off. It was it was there was just so much pent up demand in the industry and there was no competition at the time. And then real page and Yardy, shortly after we launched our product, they launched their own BI products. It was like this race to build the analytics products that the industry so desperately needed. But we had a unique advantage in that we were the only, call it, agnostic tool in the industry where we could to tap into many different systems that folks used. And so if you were single stack owner and manager, you could go with Dardi or you could go with real page, but we started the genesis of our company being agnostic in nature, so that if you are an owner like one of our customers who later became one of our largest customers, blackstone, or another one was starwood capital, blackstone had fiftyzero units and they had thirty five different managers and systems that they were trying to access data from. You can imagine the headache that to go through on a daily basis. And so we were able to tap into all thirty five of those different systems and aggregate that information and give them one unified truth, of source of truth for their information, and that was a game changer for companies like that. Did did having real page and Yaradi, who are clearly the, you know, the juggernouts within the space, did that? Did that motivate you to roll out additional features, or did it scare you? A little bit of both, I think when these big juggernauts, I don't think it's scared us so much as it led us to certain decision that we led us to make...

...certain decisions that perhaps we would not have made in in other circumstances. The pressure of competition made us, I think, a little bit more reactive to our customer needs and demands and when you're building enterprise SASS, that, I think, ended up hurting us. For example, we built a ton of custom features and dashboards for specific customer needs, like Black Stone, Star war capital. When they represent twenty thirty percent of your customer base or your ACV Base, it causes you to say, okay, listen, you have this problem, this person has this problem, let's build a unified product. You're trying to solve this more immediate need because you know that the threat of them potentially leaving down the road or one of those other other companies was significant. Also, we would we saw a changing landscape during that time period where initially we had this, call it blue ocean of opportunity in front of us, but what we found is that because you already and real page, had ingrained and embedded that customer base, they were able to cross sell this product into and bundle this product into their offerings. That made a created an ecosystem where we, in most cases where they won those deals, were not able to even get in the door and compete on those deals. And so we would come across companies that they said, yeah, we're using already a Ryan or we're using real PAGEBI. It's like, well, did you go through a competitive process? Did you fet other technologies? Because we knew that we were the superior technology, but a lot of these folks, at the time especially, just weren't doing their homework. They weren't sophisticated as they are to day and they went with the easy approach. And you already in real page were using tactics like bundling their bi platform in for free for the first year, but then when you had to renew, then you had to pay for it, and it put us in a situation where it was it was tough to compete under those circumstances. What did you do it? Did that help accelerate one raising additional funding, but did it also make you start thinking about, well, maybe maybe this is a good opportunity to maybe maybe sell the company? A little bit of both. I think we had always wanted rent lytics to 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 or the company, I would have told you at the beginning that would have been a failure. Now I look back on it differently now, clearly because circumstances change and landscape changes over time. But ultimately it caused, I think it created us to look at the situation in more realistic terms. We weren't able to build, I think, a materially differentiated product that had network effects and other really important factors that create huge defensibilities and Moats at scale, and I think that was more at the nature of the problem that we were solving rather than the product itself. And as a result of that, what happened was that we were able to get to about a million units, little over a million units when we ultimately sold the company, which represents probably somewhere around five percent...

...of the total market. And when you looked at the total addressable market for what we were building just straight up, if you did the number of units time the price per unit that we were charging, our total addressable market was more like two hundred, three hundred million dollars. And this created an environment where we were competing with these big juggernauts. They were eating up some of the markets, so we didn't have nearly as much room to grow. We had other ambitions to build technology that I would say would be differentiated at scale, things like benchmarking and using our data and really interesting and unique ways. But we were just never really able to get to that second act because we were so busy building our core product and so we were never able to reach a scape velocity for for the business. And we were growing nicely. We're growing over a hundred percent year every year, but we just never felt like we reached that point where where things just felt friction less and they always felt like they were full of friction, and I know that with most startup sets the case. But never felt like we just kind of reached at next level. And so, with all those things having having been in existence, raising money started to become more difficult over our as we grew, and so as we raised our series a, it became somewhat difficult. We raise some strategic capital plus tact on some venture capital. We raise ten million dollars in our series a, but then we came to our series be things started getting a little bit even more difficult because people really questioned our Tam and whether we could move outside of our core market and start creating other products that would increase our total a dressable market opportunity. And Venture Capital folks looked at that, I think, and what they want to see is, can I add fueled fire here? Do you have a product where x, you know a plus B equals see like, if I just throw water on this and you've nailed your customer requisition, can this grow to be a billion dollar company in our core product? The answer to that was clearly no, and so it left VC's looking at this and saying, well, this is going to take more R and D effort, which cost money. Then you're going to have to take new products to market, which is going to cost even more money and there's no guarantee that those products are going to be successful. And so it caused the situation, I think, where we started having to cut, having to really battle those market forces. In our series be we were able to find finally, after a six month Affour, get a series beat term sheet and then, on the day of closing, to no fault of our own, frankly, and look back on this in many different ways, the are, our series be partner walked away. You know, it was a weird circumstance. There were a new fund, there was a VP who is running the deal who probably didn't have the authority that they said they did. We signed a term sheet, all of our investors were on board and then they they took the offer back, basically on what was supposed to be the day of closing. It was a it was a it was a really tough situation,...

...probably one of the worst days of my professional career and and that was a tough one to overcome because we only had, I think at that point, three months of three months of runway left, and so we really had to look across the table at one another and say, what are we going to do? Wow. So was that the turning point? That? That was that day at a turning point? Yeah, it was the turning point. It was definitely the turning point where we said, well, maybe these ambitions well, first of all, picking picking up where we left off with the series be. We had talked to so many folks throughout that process and gotten over a hundred nose probably, and we got one yes, and and and then when we when we when we started moving into how do we fix this situation? We looked at we looked across the table and all of a sudden some of our venture partner started, you know, taking advantage of the situation. We got one term sheet from one venture partner. This is not trinity ventures, by the way. That we thought was an atrocious offer where they wanted to do a cram down on the CAP table for people who didn't didn't commit to the round to bridge us and it would have diluted our control and our equity and pretty much the entire company would have would have been given control over this private ector over to this BC group. And then a couple of our strategic investors came together and basically bridged us with a loan to get us to the other side. And so that that whole process was really stressful. Tried to manage it very respectfully during that time period, but ultimately we're able to raise four million dollars. But as part of that agreement we said to all of our investors in ourselves, 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 next six months we went on a dual track path and we hired a banker and we evaluated what a sale would look like while continuing down the path of looking at what we could get from a series be partnership. Got It and then, and then, you see, you hired an investment banker. And did they get a percentage? How that work? They get a percentage of what the exit would be? They they did. They got a percentage that was escalating based on the price. So we went and we interviewed many different investment banks and one rose to the top for us, a company at a San Diego Guy by the name of Brad Weeks, and Brad was amazing and he runs a firm with Alan called Seg and they had done other transactions in and around our space and actually sold a couple other companies to real page and so we thought that, based on where we were in terms of price, that they really fit what we wanted and they understand it, stood our technology and they understood the vision for what we were trying to do with rent lytics. It was kind of a no brainer for us to move down the path with them and we negotiated a little bit on price, but it wasn't that big of a sticking point for us.

Frankly, we wanted the right investment banking partner ultimately in order to take us out to market, create and craft the right narrative and message for us and also show what the opportunity could be under the right organization. And so I can't remember what the numbers were exactly, but I remember that they had a fixed fee up to a certain price that they thought we'd sell that and then as we hit different hurdles for different prices, 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 real page. I'm sure Y aready and some others were part of that. And then then what happened? Did they did they start setting up meetings for you and the executive team to start pitching? Yeah, we spent about two months really preparing the narrative, prepareing the the initial deck in the story around it, preparing the financial model and getting all of our data room and information together. The entire process, from beginning to end, took about from from the time that we hired an investmentaking partner or actually started searching for investment, making partner to the time we sold the business. It took about nine months and so and I think that was the expectation that they said early on, although I think I think that we originally thought that we could go faster. But if you think about all the different segments and in and things that need to happen associated with a sale, it took that long. And so we got all of our information together and then we put a list together of people and we tear them out your one, two three. We wanted some warm ups where people we knew who weren't going to be even remotely interested or maybe marginally interested, or we wouldn't be interested in selling to them. We wanted to take go with them first get our reps in and then we went to some of the companies that we thought were really potentially interested in buying us and could pay top dollar for the business. And so we and we segmented them into private equity companies as well as publicly traded or privately held companies, and publicly traded companies what we'd call more strategic acquirers, and we knew that the strategic requires would be willing to pay more, but we also wanted to go down the path of the private equity partnership route just in case there was a compelling deal to be had there. And then you had you had those meetings and then, and then what happened? Is it like? was there like two or three that started competing? was there only one that was really the the best fit? What made you guys decide to go with real page? Yeah, so we we went down down that path. Had I don't know forty initial meetings and it really quickly started to whittle its way down and one company was particularly interested. Not Real page, but I don't think I can actually say their name due to NDA. But one company was particularly interested in actually, in the beginning of this process we decided strategically that we were not going to go out to real page and already at least at the beginning, and if we were going to introduce them into the process, it would be much later in the process. And the...

...reason we did that was because they had competing products. We felt a little sensitive to the idea that. Well, first of all, we didn't think that they'd be actually be interested buying us because they had competing products. You already we kind of eliminated because they've never really been active or engaged in the in acquisitions and they typically build themselves. But real page was interesting. I didn't have at that time a relationship with Steve Win. I'd met him once in passing, and so we were involved in this process, meeting with companies, and then ANAA happened down in San Diego and I got invited to a dinner and this was at the time, now now too big. Publicly traded companies were in involved in the process and they were they were starting to bid on the business and they were direct competitors with real page. And I just so happen to go to this dinner at an a and Steve Win was there and I ended up sitting next to him at this dinner. It was a buddy of mine name named Sina, who who ran the dinner, and Chris Herndon, who now runs a company called guild, invited me to the dinner and and Steve was there and I sat right next to him and he looked at me said how's your business going and I said, you know, we're doing pretty well. Actually, Steve, were in the process of potentially selling the business or getting acquired and two of your biggest competitors are currently offering on our on our business, and I don'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 literally during that during that dinner, Steve Tried to put out his hand. After we start talking, he asked me about metrics and said, Oh, we've definitely be interested and he tried to basically do a handshake deal right there at the table, literally right there. He said I'll do I'll do that deal right now for this price, and I said it's Steve, I can't, I can't commit to that. I said I got it, I got to talk to my banker, but here's what I can promise you as I can get you involved in the process and we can give you that information. And so at three am that night Steve emailed me and I looped in our banker. They had already known each other. He looped in their head of acquisitions, Mike Pretty, who's a great guy and really helped us through the process. And then we then had a competitive process that with one really hungry company and to other companies that really wanted the business and it was a situation that you kind of dream of when you go through the cell sales process. Now. All the while, we had at the same time secured a series be partnership and we had a term sheet with mass mutual ventures, who we really love, those guys, and so we and the valuation was a little lower than we ultimately sold for, but we had optionality on the table, and so we had gone 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 a situation that was fairly enviable. Wow, and that's and, as you know, I...

...know Mike Britty and and Steve Wynn and Chris and everyone else, and just the fact that you were placed there, I think, also was a turning point for you, which is a lesson learned. You know always that if you're if you're a company and you're growing your business and you have really exit in mind, even starting now, even if you're going to sell maybe four or five years out, even starting now, developing those relationships with with big partners within the industry and knowing their CEO and knowing their their head of MNA just just is one of these important things that you could, you could potentially do. All right. So so, Steve Win, they're interested. It's an all cash deal. So you got no real paid stock? Correct. Well, I got real paced stock 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 we structure that way and didn't structure with an earn out was because we didn't quite know how the products, their product and our product, would ultimately come together and and so it made us, I think all, feel uncomfortable without a true understanding of what the revenue targets would be for the combined products and knowing that the integration and figuring out how to actually combine these products and how to maneuver through the customer the the two different customer bases would be challenging, and so we weren't willing to go there and I think that they completely understood that. And so we always positioned it as an all cash deal and we went through different series of negotiations where ultimately we went through a best and final process and real page came in with the better number by about eight percent over the the nearest, the the the other the other two companies, and so it was for us real paid had the, I would say, the worst terms in terms of things like liability and indemnifications and fraud and and we knew that their due diligence process was going to be freely difficult, because Brad had been through before and said these guys are tough through the dealers process and but they will get the deal done. And we had a larger hold back as a result of going with real page. But ultimately the deal made sense for us and real pages lived up to the word ultimately and we got I think we had a fourteen percent hold back and that was based on things like fraud and negligence and other things like that not earn out. And and they have been true to their word in terms of delivering on on the next payments as well as they gave, you know, the the team a nice management and set a package to be able to stick around for for a period of time. That that's that's a great story. And if you were to do things all over again with, you know, with your new company, and let's say you exit in a couple years, what would you do differently? I think most of what I do differently actually happens at...

...the beginning of of the the company, because that sets such a trajectory for the company. And so before I started this new business, I sat down and thought through where did we start, where did the trajectory go a certain direction at rent lytics, and what decisions really made it so that we exited for fifty seven instead of five hundred and seventy million? And because I do genuinely believe that if I knew what I know now and if I were starting rent lytus over, I think that that at that time that we could have had 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 the business, and so that's been a really important lesson for me. And one of the first and most important lessons for me was making sure that I had really great cofounders surrounding me at this business. And so that was the first thing I did in my new startup is I made sure that I had people who rounded out my skill sets and and made up for my weaknesses, of what I saw as my greatest weaknesses in rent lytics, and I think that was the biggest lesson for me is make sure that I have really good people next to me at this new business where it can be a real, true collaborative team effort from a founding perspective and and be able to grow a company together and people who have done it before also. Yeah, that's that's really great advice for any any entrepreneurs that are looking to start and grow really a multimillion or hundred million dollar plus business. Justin thank you so much for your time and once again, I appreciate you being the first ever interview on the big exit. I'm honored. Thanks. Dan. Really appreciate its great.

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