7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition


The big news in the e-commerce World this week is Unilever’s purchase of Dollar Shave Club (DSC) for a cool $1B (cue the Dr. Evil laugh).

The simplest of ideas has gone from start to $1B in 5 years. This at a time when e-commerce has been going through ups and downs.

E-commerce is one of our three focus areas at SurePath. So, we have followed this company with interest. Here are my top 7 lessons from this runaway success. Some of them are counter to prevailing investor wisdom and how to win in e-ecommerce. Continue reading 7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition

Exits in Canada: June 2016

Screenshot 2016-07-04 17.04.47

June was yet another ‘meh’ month for software acquisitions in Canada.  Highlights:

  • 8 deals announced (9 last month)
  • 2 of the deals had a disclosed value (Largest was $ 32.5M).
  • 3 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Montreal, the rest were distributed
  • None of the companies were VC-backed
  • 3 of the buyers were Canadian, 3 were from the US, and 1 each for Europe and Asia
  • 4 of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 15 years (9 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 4 years
  • Longest time to exit: 25 years!
  • All of the buyers except one was strategic.

I will be doing a separate post on the IT exits so far this year in Canada. So far, it’s been a pretty underwhelming with some exceptions (Wind Mobile and Bitstrips).

As always, I report on these each month. If you’re interested in seeing the underlying data, I keep it here.

Why you need to talk to corporate development

Paul Graham, co-founder of YCombinator, is a smart dude. Founders rightfully listen to what he has to say. One of his many pearls of wisdom is that founders should NOT talk to corporate development groups. Having spent the last 3 days in SF doing pretty much nothing but talking to corp dev groups, all I can say is Paul is wrong. Here’s why:

First, the vast majority of exits happen through acquisition. Less than 10% of exits are from companies going public.  Continue reading Why you need to talk to corporate development