The SEC has recently approved a new national securities exchange, Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), in response to regulatory criticism from top tech figures. Dubbed the Silicon Valley Stock Exchange, the new trading platform seeks to remove the pressure surrounding the short-term profit-focused mindset of recent IPOs. The LTSE is backed by major Valley leaders like VC Marc Andreessen, and is set to commence trading in late 2019.
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In digital marketing platform news, SugarCRM has announced the acquisition of Salesfusion as part of a larger strategy to build out the business’ marketing automation capabilities. Current CEO Craig Charlton recognized the company’s need for the functionality and actively sought an acquisition target to fill the gap, rather than build in-house. According to Charlton, Salesfusion’s sophisticated onboarding process was a contributing factor in the final decision to acquire, for an undisclosed amount.
The world of e-commerce this week saw Away, a luxury luggage company known for its branding and savvy social media growth strategy in particular, reach a $1.4 billion valuation following a Series D round of funding. The $100 million round placed Away firmly at unicorn status, making it one of several female-founded e-commerce businesses to reach the billion dollar mark in recent months. The round was led by Wellington Management, and Away counts Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield among its backers.
Featured in e-commerce business listings this week we have a $7.5M Multi-Platform 12 year old Branded Toys and Consumer Goods business, operating a robust and scalable business model with well-developed partnerships which helped generate c.$43.7M in revenues over the last 5 years. The business has strong fundamentals with impressive revenue CAGR of c.30.4% for 2014-2018, wide-market acceptance with a 97% positive seller feedback on tens of thousands of reviews, global reach with revenues diversified across multiple continents creating a clear competitive advantage, sophisticated operations with thousands of SKUs and a well-trained team. If you are interested in this business, please follow the link to request a prospectus.
Finally, thank you to everyone who came to our quarterly London networking drinks event this past Wednesday! We had a great time chatting with clients and friends in the online business space, and look forward to seeing you all again in September! Make sure to join our Meetup group to stay up to date on the exact date and location, as well as connect with other attendees. Elsewhere, Founder Thomas Smale and the FE team had a great time sponsoring Seller’s Summit in Miami this week, so thank you to everyone who met with him for a chat! M&A advisor Jaimee Gilbertson was also in action, this time in Prague at SEMRushLive19, and had many great conversations with friends and clients. Next week, Thomas will be in San Francisco attending Pulse from May 21-24, so make sure to email Thomas at email@example.com to set up a meeting if you will be in the area!
Continue reading below for more on the LTSE, SugarCRM’s acquisition of Salesfusion and Away’s new round of funding.
- Robust and scalable business model with well-developed partnerships, helping generate c.$43.7M in revenues in L5Y
- Strong business fundamentals with impressive revenue CAGR of c.30.4% for 2014-2018
- Wide-market acceptance with a 97% positive seller feedback on tens of thousands of reviews
- Global reach with revenues diversified across multiple continents creating a clear competitive advantage
- Sophisticated operations with thousands of SKUs and a well-trained team
Yearly net profit: $1,555,000
Asking price: $7,500,000
- Impressive monthly growth in recurring revenues demonstrated by a c.13.5% CMGR over the LTM
- Simple business operations requiring low owner involvement
- Established a firm foothold in a lucrative and evergreen niche
- Innovative product offering that has reached a strong c.$466 customer LTV
- Downward trending and low customer churn of c.6.6%
Yearly net profit: $73,000
Asking price: $177,000
In the News…
SEC Approves New Stock Exchange
A new stock exchange was approved by the U.S. government last week in response to criticism of current regulations late last year.
The new exchange, which is backed by the likes of Marc Andreessen, was founded in response to frustration around the public market’s hyperfocus on near-term profits. The idea behind the new platform would be, according to its website, to create a “market that reduces short-term pressures and encourages a steady cycle of innovation and investment in long-term value creation” because it “would benefit companies and their investors alike.” Head of operations Zoran Perkov said, “We welcome the approval, which advances our vision of a new way of being public for a generation of companies that aspire to build their businesses and generate value for decades to come.”
Following the completion of administrative and technical setup, the LTSE stated in a release that it will likely be ready to begin trading later this year.
SugarCRM Acquires Salesfusion
SugarCRM has acquired Salesfusion, an Atlanta-based marketing automation platform, to build out that side of its business.
Current CEO Craig Charlton spotted the need for improvement of the marketing automation aspect of the platform when he joined in February. When commenting on the decision to build or buy the functionality, he stated “We spent the last three or four months doing a fairly intensive market scan and dealing with a number of the possible opportunities, and we decided that Salesfusion was head and shoulders above the rest for a variety of reasons,” to TechCrunch. Key to the decision was Salesfusion’s growth as compared to other potential targets showing decline.
The deal closed last week for an undisclosed price.
Away Raises $100 million in Series D
Luxury luggage company Away has achieved a $1 billion valuation following its Series D round of funding.
The $100 million round was led by Wellington Management and brings Away to unicorn status, shortly after a few other direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands passed this same milestone, like Glossier. With plans to allocate the funds towards more brick and mortar stores, as well as expand the portfolio of merchandise, Away’s new strategy will move towards providing all necessary equipment for people to use to travel. Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer said of the strategy, “When someone’s going on a trip, we want to make everything that they need to go on on that trip.”
Away’s $1 billion valuation milestone represents an increase of 150%, up from $400 million in 2018.