When to ask for annual prepayment

Source: http://www.thecsuite.co.uk/CIO/images/online-payment-2.jpg
Source: http://www.thecsuite.co.uk/CIO/images/online-payment-2.jpg

When I am talking with SaaS founders the discussion frequently turns to the pros and cons of asking customers to prepay their subscription annually. Often the decision to do this is driven by a desire to improve conversion rates. I think this is mistaken.

Continue reading When to ask for annual prepayment

Exits in Canada: August 2016

Screenshot 2016-09-01 07.26.07

As expected given the time of year, August was a slow month for IT exits in Canada with 5 deals closed (3 last month). However, an additional 5 deals were announced in the month (but not closed yet) including BCE’s purchase of Q9 Networks for $ 491M USD. So, perhaps that’s a good sign as we all get back to work.

Here are the highlights for the closed deals last month: Continue reading Exits in Canada: August 2016

Driving company performance: What are you settling for?


I was with one of my CEOs this morning. As we walked through the highs and lows of his business I made a suggestion that I want to pass on.

Nothing’s ever perfect in a startup, or life for that matter. Perfection is an illusion. However, on the startup journey the bulk of value gets created once everything starts to work.

Continue reading Driving company performance: What are you settling for?

Exits in Canada: July 2016

Screenshot 2016-08-02 09.56.50

I expected a Summer slow down, but July was pretty darn underwhelming with just 3 software acquisitions in Canada.  Highlights:

  • 3 deals announced (8 last month)
  • 1 of the deals had a disclosed value ($ 4.1M).
  • The companies were in Burlington, Montreal and Quebec City
  • None of the companies were VC-backed (2nd month in a row for this)
  • 1 buyer was Canadian, 1 US, and 1 from Europe
  • None of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 19 years (15 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 10 years
  • Longest time to exit: 26 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.

Continue reading Exits in Canada: July 2016