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

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

Achieving big exits in the SMB sector

I gave a talk this week at the Small Business Web Annual Summit on how to achieve big exits for startups serving the SMB Sector. If you don’t know about the Small Business Web Association (and your startup serves SMB), you should sign up. The event featured execs from 400 SMB-focused companies. It was a great opportunity to connect and compare notes on growing great companies in this sector.

Anyway, my talk was on SMB exits. The SurePath team helped me crunch a bunch of data, looking at IPOs, acquisitions, who the most active SMB buyers are and what the key success factors are for companies that achieved great exits in this space.

Here are the slides. Continue reading Achieving big exits in the SMB sector