Unbelievable. I woke up yesterday morning with the mother of all hangovers having decided to drown my sorrows late into the night.
Yesterday was to be the very last day. I was planning to call an end to everything at 6pm. But we had 1 last meeting planned with a company we had met a couple of weeks prior.
I told my colleague how hungover I was. I was dying. I told him in advance that ironically, I had pulled off some other notable deals in my life hungover. Perhaps it would happen again. Hah. I’m not saying thats a great strategy for raising funds by the way.. just happens to be true.
So we went into this meeting at 10.30am. The alcohol still running through my head… more than likely dripping out of my pores. I felt physical pain… But this was the last meeting I was to ever have on this crazy startup that never wants to die. So I gave it my all. A full on, impassioned, emotional spiel. My defenses were down, but I had nothing to lose. “This is what it is, are you interested?”
On the spot they made an offer to pay off our existing investors, and crucially to fund the company to the level I want for the next couple of years.
The fact is that nobody gets rich here, this is not a Snapchat acquisition, but what this is is a deal, survival, security and a future. Personally and for the entity.
Obviously nothing has been signed yet, anything can fall through… but thats where we are.
The show goes on. Hopefully.
Will keep you posted.
3.39pm. I just had a huge rejection. But I actually feel shit cool about this one.
Why? Because I literally emailed a goliath and asked him could he take a call.
He responded. “I’m in an airport. Phone me now. My number is xxx xxx xxxx.”
Suddenly I’m on the phone to one of the worlds biggest CEOs. Within 5 minutes I had made my pitch, offering the company at a price and asking for him to commit to investing over 2/3 years.
As we go to the wire on this, we have nothing to lose. It felt like a pretty ballsy thing to do, and now I know I can cross them off the list.
His reason why he couldn’t do it was because his own company (who are MASSIVE) was in itself a state of flux. He was candid and explained fully the position he was in.
In the space of 20 minutes I got an answer that took me 2 weeks to get from my previous offer.
I appreciated his honesty. For some reason I always find the people at the very very top of the trees easiest to deal with. I guess its because they are in a relatively similar situation to me… trying to keep a ship afloat…. even if they are dealing with billion of dollars.
Thats two big NOs.
Ehhh…. anyone else around?
– John Startup
1.46pm. So we have feedback on our massive meeting from an inside source close to the main man. We asked our ‘insider’ to investigate his pulse for it. His feedback was that we should “Propose a price.”
Ok. Deep breath. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
What is our price? What would an acquisition mean? What would the future look like?
I hate asking these questions, because until money is in the bank, nothing is guaranteed. Even if we were to get a good offer, legals can have the plug pulled at any moment. It’s important to stay calm.
But I can’t lie; it’s encouraging at least. In someways I think I would be happy for the company to fall now having just heard the words “Propose a Price.” It’s funny how the mind works. I get a sense of achievement in just hearing that phrase.
So what is our price? There is already conjecture on this point. I have made a few calls to advisors –
“I’d say between 5-10.”
“15 million, no questions.”
If I’m being honest, I’m unfortunately not a greedy person (and it helps to be in business). I was asked by a friend… “What do you want from this? Do you want to get rich?.” I just want the company to evolve. I want the company to grow up. I want the company to survive. I want to look after all the people that have been involved to date. And even though I have worked on this non stop for years I strangely care about myself the least. Don’t get me wrong, I want to get by, but I don’t have many desires past that.
There is no way I would be leaving the company. I would need to continue running it, for at least 2/3 years. It’s just the nature of what we do. I would need to make sure there was the right budget in place to make that work. Could that budget be part of a deal?
I like the idea of wiping out our current early stage investors off the table (because there are too many cooks in the kitchen right now).
So I would be happy with a 3 million sale… and a commitment to invest X amount over 3 years. I would like a stake in the company going forward too. I dunno… something like that.
What do you think?