The Unicorn Exit
“Haroon Mokhtarzada and his brothers started Webs.com and grew it to $10M in revenue before selling. They brought in a venture capital firm to help grow their business,” shares Sam Thompson, a Minneapolis business broker and the president of M&A firm Transitions In Business. “This episode explores how to work with outside money and will share insights as to what to avoid in the process. We also discuss preparing for a difficult due diligence period and churn rate versus churn curve.”
In 2001, Haroon Mokhtarzada and his brothers started Webs.com, which allowed anyone to build a professional website. Eager to grow the company, they decided to raise money from a venture capital firm – a decision Mokhtarzada would later regret.
They ultimately grew Webs.com to over 50 million users and sold it in 2011 to Vistaprint for over 10x revenue, totaling $117.5 million.
Hungry to start another company and learn from their mistakes, Haroon and his brothers began Truebill in 2015. The business was created to help people save money by managing their subscriptions from one platform.
Truebill snowballed, reaching $100 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in just seven years. In 2022, Truebill was acquired by Rocket Companies – again, for over 10x revenue, totaling $1.275 billion. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:
- Avoid a fundraising mistake that cost the Mokhtarzada brothers close to $50 million.
- The interview tactic to find the right senior person for your team.
- Make strategic decisions that will improve your desirability in the eyes of an acquirer.
- Determine if venture funding is the right decision for you and your company.
- Utilize mirroring to entice a buyer for your company.
- Prepare for a long and strenuous diligence period.
- Distinguish the difference between churn rate vs. churn curve.
- Maximize the lifetime value of a customer.