After spinning a technology product out of Qualcomm to create a company, he merged it with a competitor which ultimately valued the company more than 30x higher than at the time of the spin out less than 3 years earlier.
Identifying an underperforming technology in Fortune 500 company and spinning it out without having to invest a lot of capital.
How they decided to merge with their largest rival to dominate an emerging market and become a high value acquisition target.
Pitting the two largest companies in their industry against each other to have a 30x exit.
Scott Neuberger co-founded Karmel Capital in 2013 and is a Managing Partner of the firm. Previously, Mr. Neuberger was CFO of Whistle Labs, Inc. in 2015 and up to and after the 2016 acquisition of Whistle Labs by Mars Petcare. He joined Whistle Labs in its acquisition of Snaptracs, Inc. in 2015. Mr. Neuberger was CEO of Snaptracs from 2013 until 2015. In 2013, Karmel Capital acquired 85% of Snaptracs, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM). Snaptracs developed, manufactured, and sold Tagg, a wearable device for dogs that tracked their GPS location and exercise. Prior to Snaptracs, Mr. Neuberger was President of Infocore Inc. a data driven marketing firm dedicated to transforming one to one marketing. While at Infocore from 2009 – 2013, Mr. Neuberger grew the revenue of the firm 3x and increased its profits significantly. Mr. Neuberger started his business career as a co-founder of Collegeboxes Inc. while an undergraduate and was CEO of the company until it was acquired in 2008. Collegeboxes provides shipping and storage services to students at 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. Collegeboxes is now owned by AMERCO (NASDAQ: UHAL). Mr. Neuberger received his B.S.B.A in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003.
Drew: Today we have a Scott Neuberger with us. Scott and I have been friends since 2010, so it’s been a little over seven years. And he and I have known each other through the entrepreneur’s organization. Scott is an interesting guy in that he is a triple threat. He has done a startup, he has done a turnaround, and he has done a corporate spin-out called Tagg that we’re gonna hear about today. He also has a wife and four young kids. And a little-known fact may be that he is the number one New England Patriots fan in San Diego. So with that, Scott, we’re glad to have you here on the show today.
Scott: Thank you, Drew. Thank you, Brandon.
Brandon: Great to have you. So Scott, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about how you acquired this company and, you know, what you’ve learned from that?
Scott: Sure. So in 2013 with a partner we started looking for undervalued technology companies to acquire and were particularly focused on businesses that were already, you know, founded or owned by larger corporations. And we were introduced to a team at Qualcomm that had started a launch of a GPS tracking product for pets called Tagg two years prior to that, which was the culmination of a significant amount of research and development by Qualcomm to develop a very small lightweight long-lasting, from a battery perspective, cellular GPS tracking device. And it immediately became very interesting to us because it was clear that there was, you know, very high-end technology involved, you know, intellectual capital that was hard to come by especially for, you know, for the size of business that it was. And so there was a very large difference between sort of how much technology was involved compared to how big the business was. That smelled like value to us and opportunity. And so we got very interested very quickly and within a few months had negotiated a creative agreement where we acquired the business from Qualcomm without actually having to pay any cash. In fact, in a lot of ways, they paid us to acquire the business. It wasn’t in a great position from a dollars and cents perspective but there was a lot of assets available both physical and intellectual.
Drew: Wow, that was a lot. I mean, like, I’ve got, like, 10 questions that came to my mind. One of them is in the beginning, you know, what set you off was this idea of identifying an undervalue tech company. Can you maybe tell me a little bit about, like, what did you mean by that and kind of what got you to start looking into maybe existing companies to find that kind of asset?
Scott: Yeah, so what got us there was it was sort of the sum total of my partner and I’s, you know, sort of careers up to that point, which was we both had entrepreneurial roots where we started businesses from scratch. And doing that and kind of fighting that fight for as long as we did, you know, it had gotten pressed in our memories pretty hard that there’s a big difference between starting a company, even raising your first round or two rounds of capital, and, you know, or many after that and ultimately selling and generating a tremendous amount of equity value in the business. And so for me personally I focused…you know, I became very interested in acquiring businesses as opposed to starting businesses because it felt like I was already sort of stepping into something that had a foundation as opposed to having to build that foundation. And I instead could really focus my energy on building the building and not have to build a foundation and the building. And so, you know, we’re looking inside of all corners for that type of opportunity. But, you know, so what we learned though was that inside corporations they often don’t sort of fall for the sunk cost problem that a lot of, you know, individual owners and entrepreneurs sort of get stung by which is, you know, they get very focused on how much they’ve invested with either time and/or money and thus are very emotionally attached to the product or service or asset they’ve built, thus making it hard to sometimes, you know, get them to sell it when it’s in fact probably a good time for them to sell it. Inside a big company like Qualcomm, you know, they’re very rational and very focused on what their opportunity cost is beyond just the capital that they’re investing and thus it was a very rational quick conversation. And we were able to negotiate terms that we thought were very good and, you know, that was a major focus for why we were focusing on companies to begin with.
Brandon: So did Qualcomm have that kind of listed for sale or did you meet them in your networking and kind of through your network or how did you, like, really find out about this opportunity because I know a lot of people want opportunities like this and you kind of look online and you try to find companies for sale. But how did you, like, actually connect with them and then kind of move down those discussions?
Scott: Previously they had retained an investment banker to market the business. But the first kind of round had kind of that process, had sort of run its course, and they hadn’t developed any strong, you know, possibilities. And that was right around the time that we got personally introduced to the team that was in charge there. And sort of the combination of the personal introduction and the fact that the strategic review hadn’t really generated any significant potential meant that the Qualcomm decided just to deal with us directly and not through their investment banker. But that was just sort of a circumstance of, you know, part of the circumstances.
Drew: Now Scott, some people might say that getting an asset that they had invested… I think that you said maybe over $100 million for no cash down. To say that, that is terms that are very good, that could be maybe the understatement of the year. [crosstalk 00:26:29]
Brandon: How did that whole process work with no cash? Like, what were the terms of that deal?
Scott: Well, the terms of the deal involved a promissory note that my partner and I gave the company, gave Qualcomm. So that was the form of the purchase price. But in exchange for that sort of promissory note and why we say that there was sort of was no cash involved in the transaction was that the company had about $5 million worth of finished goods inventory already, you know, in its warehouse of the GPS tracking product. And so those were among the assets that we acquired, which we were able to sell, you know, to retailers and consumers and net more than the $3 million promissory note that we issued to Qualcomm. So, in essence, that’s why they “Paid us to take the business.”
Brandon: That makes sense. Why were they looking to sell?
Scott: They were looking to sell we believe because they were…you know, Qualcomm has very big visions and very big… They’re trying to tackle very big problems and create very big opportunities. And when they went down the path of Tagg it was because they thought they were creating, you know, a cell phone-sized opportunity. You know, some of their early marketing campaigns were called The Cell Phone for Dogs. I think that was their, you know, desire or wish but it turned out not to be the reality of the time. And so when it became clear that it was not going to be a cell phone-sized opportunity then it was, you know, just like I said sort of a question of, you know, what is their opportunity cost relative to continue doing this? And the engineers and the people that they are putting on and sort of the reputation that they’re investing in it, what else could that be doing for them?
Brandon: Absolutely. So you kind of got the brand and you got some of their inventory. Did you also get any of their staff?
Scott: We tried. We did get about 10 people from Qualcomm ended up joining the company as an independent entity. We tried to get more and it’s hard to get people to get out of large corporations like Qualcomm. So we had to supplement the team quite significantly. I mean, you know, part of the turnaround effort involved reducing the expense of the business substantially. So we had to learn to live on less. But, you know, the business inside Qualcomm had more than 50 employees and a lot of support from other sort of pieces of the Qualcomm infrastructure. And we had…you know, we built a team about 20 to start with and ultimately to about 30.
Brandon: How did that transition work? Like, you know, day one you had the deal. You’re walking into the office on Monday morning. How did it go from there?
Scott: Well, so, you know, the way it felt, like, it was, you know, jumping on a moving train and trying to change direction from almost a total stop. I mean, everything had to be done over, like, in terms of even just, you know, finding an office and setting up payroll and, you know, computers, and desks, and everything like that all the way to, you know, recasting the marketing strategy, you know, getting work started on a next generation product as soon as possible, which we started, you know, pretty much right when we acquired the business in mid-2013. And then that product started shipping to customers in early 2015. You know, it was a complex product. It took a long time to build. We knew that if it was gonna be a long-term success that we needed to continue to innovate on the product itself. And that was a long-term investment. So, I mean, there was just so many things to do in such a short period of time. And, you know, by nature of the fact that it was also a business that was, you know, I think safe to say in a distressed situation, there was, you know, always a focus on, you know, are we improving the business or just, you know, sort of pushing the can down the road?
Drew: Scott, when you bought it I guess who was with you in that purchase? And then, like, kind of, what was the game plan or thinking of like, “Hey, this is where we’re gonna take this?”
Scott: Yeah, so my partner in the transaction was Jim Berline. And so the two of us were the ones doing the transaction. We formed the board, the company, and we invested nearly all the capital that went into the company after the transaction. And during…how we decided what to do, you know, I wish we could say we had this grand master plan, you know, that was fully baked out on day one. It wasn’t exactly as clean as that, you know. What we first did…you know, the first six months were purely focused on just, you know, proving that there was a pulse and that we could control that pulse in the business in terms of being able t, you know, invest marketing dollars and, you know, increase sales or, you know, invest in the customer experience and decrease churn or, you know, reduce costs and still have, you know, everything working in the business. And during that process we were also just sort of thinking a lot about the company and where we wanted take it and we went through different ideas. I mean, for a long time, in fact, pretty late into the period where we owned the business, we had considered using it more as a platform to launch other internet things, consumer products, consumer or business to business products that could operate on the same technological infrastructure that was built for the GPS, the patch GPS device. Over time we, you know, ended up focusing only on the pet space and that was mostly because it was the biggest market opportunity. It was the most defined market opportunity in front of us. And, you know, I think it was a good decision in the end.
Drew: So you launched this. You said, you know, we didn’t have this grand master plan and you’re going after things. I guess what were some of the things that worked that you kind of like, “Wow, this really worked well,” and maybe what were some of the biggest challenges that you had that you ran into?
Scott: Sure. So I think on the biggest challenges side I think, you know, we could…taking the product out of Qualcomm was one thing but removing all of the…but really reforming the cost structure of the business, which was really driven by…which was dictated by a lot of decisions that Qualcomm had made about how the product was manufactured, where it was manufactured, and how the service was. The infrastructure for the service was created and maintained largely using, you know, very expensive enterprise level software, which was, you know, appropriate for a company like Qualcomm building another cell phone. But not necessarily the same decisions that, you know, a startup focused on, you know, consumer technology device would have made. And so, you know, it was harder than we anticipated to sort of turn the ship around and reduce the cost of the business, which necessitated more investment in the company. You know, on the positive side or on the accomplishments that when I look back fondly on it, I would say that we really dramatically changed the customer lifetime value and really by lengthening the average customer lifespan or the amount of time that the customer is a subscriber to the service after buying the product. And, you know, there was no one silver bullet there. But it was a lot of just really focused time talking to customers, understanding their experience, understanding what was the good and the bad of that experience and really focusing on fixing that, improving that experience, getting them connected to the product early on in their ownership period. And also, you know, coming up with a better warmer brand so that we were attracting people more because they’ll love their pet more than the sort of a more colder just pure technological specs of the product.
Brandon: What did your team look like at this point? Like, who did you have on the team and kind of in what season, what positions?
Scott: So most of the team was focused on engineering, either hardware or software. The balance of it was… I would say 60% of the team is probably software because there was a pretty robust infrastructure, again, that was built by Qualcomm that had to be maintained and not only maintained but also redesigned basically from scratch as quickly as possible. So that was a big undertaking and it necessitated most of the team effort. The next biggest team was really our marketing team. We had a CMO and several people that worked for him. And so it really was a software-dominated team, you know, and one that also had to market and grow the [inaudible 00:39:00] as fast as possible.
Drew: So, I mean, in essence you have this GPS tracking dog collar that you’re selling and, you know, it’s out there. It’s on the market. I mean, did you have any competitors? Like, what was the space like at that point?
Scott: Yes, so there were a handful of products out there that were, ranged the gamut from various technologies that allowed you to, you know, try to locate your dog. Some of them were purpose-built for pets but most of those did not involve pure cell phone GPS kind of connections, meaning that the accuracy was much more limited or the range was much more limited. And there were certainly other cellular GPS devices on the market that were or general tracking devices that had identified the pet market as a clear opportunity and directing some marketing resources towards it. But there were very few pure play pet-focused cellular GPS devices on the market at the time. Throughout the about 18 months that we owned the business, you know, fully, a number of products we’re announced. A few of them actually came to market. It was one of these areas where it’s really easy to dream about the opportunity. You know, everybody knows the sort of sexiness of the pet space and, you know, the market dynamics that drive it, sort of the humanization of the pet, which is the sort of global trend that’s been driving, you know, really tremendous sales growth in that space for really decades now. But actually bringing a product to market and getting it, you know, built and certified with, you know, a cellular network like Horizon was a bunch harder to do and quite capital-intensive. So there were people but there weren’t really any pure play direct competitors that had… Many were close to the size of subscriber base that we do.
Drew: So you’re, you know, you’re off to the races. You’ve got farmers who are super happy because their dog that wanders away miles away, you could track them a far distance. And, you know, the New York person is, you know, watching their dog get walked by their professional dog walker and they’re all paying you or Verizon whoever the fees to use this. Kind of you look at the horizon and what were some of the things that, you know, you were kind of thinking of, like, you know, going next? And what were some of the options and then ultimately, you know, what did you guys decide?
Scott: So, you know, after we sort of proved out that there was a pulse there and that we could, you know, that the initial turnaround the taken a fact which you really lowered the burn in the business from, you know, probably over a $1 million a month to near cash flow neutral. And so we felt like the business was self-sustaining to some extent. And then we started figuring out what we wanted to do and where we wanted to take the business. And like I said, you know, even though we kept experimenting with sort of other platform plays using the infrastructure in other markets, most of our energy focused on the pet space. And when…and the deeper we got in the pet space, you know, the more we realized that we needed a more complete team that could, you know, fully realize the vision of Tagg and also, you know, a warmer brand. Despite our best efforts for Tagg to really warm up the brand and create a story that resonated with people, the history of the company being part of the largest, you know, corporation and it’s…you know, it was hard to fully put to rest and pivot away from. And so where we ultimately ended up was merging the company with a startup that was less than two years old called Whistle that was founded to bring technology to the pet parent relationship and had at the time launched a activity monitor, which was essentially a FitBit for dogs but was very interested in bringing GPS functionality to their product that they were selling to customers.
Drew: So how did that happen? I mean, did you approach them? Did they approach you? Maybe how did the connection…talk to me about that.
Scott: So interestingly they actually launched their business publicly the same week that we acquired the business from Qualcomm. So from the very beginning we were very aware of each other. We weren’t in a direct competitive space. But we were certainly the two I think the most, the best funded companies in sort of the pet technology space at the time. And even though we weren’t direct competitors we were quite knowledgeable with each other. And so we had formed a relationship with them early on and, you know, one of a friendly partnership early on and had tracked each other’s progress over that about 18-month period before the company’s ultimately merged together between their…when they publicly launched their product. And we acquired Tagg too when the two businesses to merge together. And then, you know, a few months before when the transaction actually took place, I believe they approached us specifically. And we welcomed that approach and then we engaged in, you know, very, very helpful negotiations I think for both parties.
Drew: So on your end tell me, like, did you bring someone in to help you with the process? Did you guys do all the negotiating yourself? Maybe talk to me about that, the transaction, and how you negotiated that.
Scott: Yeah. You know, I think both parties had their advisers but it was mostly, you know, myself and my partner and the two co-founders or two of the three co-founders of Whistle that were the CEO and COO just spending a lot of time talking in person, on the phone, you know, over probably 5 or 10 different meetings and then, you know, a host of phone calls and just forming a relationship. I mean, a merger at its core depends upon, you know, there being a strong relationship between the people that are, you know, gonna be running the combined business. And so that’s what we focused on. And then ultimately, you know, it made sense for a transaction to come out of that and both parties felt that way and then it was just down to carrying out the terms of the transaction.
Brandon: What did the terms end up being and how long does this kind of process take from start to finish?
Scott: So I’d say it was about three months, three to four months start to finish from first contact to closing, I mean, from first, you know, contact related to this topic to closing. And the final deal terms involved a cash payment to my partner and I of about $6 million and then a continuing equity stake in the combined business that was equal to about 20% of the combined business.
Brandon: How did the… You know, everybody has a horror story about business partners. How did you guys kind of merge everybody together and keep everybody on track?
Scott: You know, both businesses were on a very fast-paced kind of schedule, you know, focused on growth, focused on launching your products, getting them to market, growing a subscriber base. You know, one of the things I give Whistle a ton of credit for is that they had from very early on focused on the culture of the company and that led really through the business, through the whole, you know, through the office and all the different people in the different places that worked for the company. And so they did a really great job of welcoming in the Tagg team into that culture. And that I think facilitated a very quick sort of meshing of the teams. I remember there was…within a month of the closing we did an all-hands couple day retreat where, you know, everybody which involved, you know, probably 60 or 70 people from, you know, many states. Most of the people were in San Diego and San Francisco but there was people from Hawaii. There was people from North Carolina. There was people from Colorado, lots of other places like that, that where we had, you know, one or two full-time employees that worked out of their home. And, you know, they were able to really, you know, extend that culture to Tagg, to the Tagg team, quite quickly and even though the product maintained the Tagg name for a long time, just because of certain realities, that made that hard to change on a dime. The product, the brand Whistle, very much became the effective name of the business. And that, I think, was an important step to realizing the true value of the company beyond any, you know, in particular in one device or, you know, one business model. You know, it was about building a vision for what the long-term pet and pet parent relationship would look like and how technology would really be a core piece of that.
Brandon: That’s great. What was the biggest thing you learned from that deal?
Scott: Getting to the sort of nuts and bolts of the acquisition and the discussion, one thing I personally learned was that I think I focused too much on the method of the payment, meaning, like, what the total, like, you know, final percentage of the ownership stake of the business was gonna be of, you know, the Tagg shareholders in the combined company and less on what the total dollar value of the deal was. And so personally I think I learned really, you know, focusing on the dollar value first and then sort of how that dollar value was paid, you know, whether that’s equity or debt or cash or, you know, other things that would be perhaps a more fruitful end to the negotiation but nonetheless, you know, it was a good deal.
Drew: Good. Yeah, and, I mean, it sounds like the cash kind of covered the money that you had already put in so, you know, being made whole. And so you had that and then you had another upside with Whistle. What was your role, you know, when the companies came together?
Scott: I was the CFO of the combined company from the point that the companies merged to the point that that company was acquired by another party in a few months after that.
Drew: So, I mean, this is kind of an ideal situation in that you’re getting a multiple exit scenario here. You know, talk to us about the second acquisition. You know, how did that come about?
Scott: So in the merger also at the same time Whistle raised a round of financing simultaneously with the closing of that merger or acquisition. And one of the largest investors, actually the largest investor, in that second round of financing for us was Mars Pet Care, which is the largest, one of the largest, pet food and pet care businesses in the world. And they ended up acquiring the remaining portion of the equity. They owned, you know, far less than a controlling stake at the point of the merger but they ended up acquiring the rest of the equity of the business almost exactly a year after the merger transaction. And, you know, the way it came about was really just, you know, furthering this… You know, they had a deeply-held belief that technology was going to be a driving relationship of the pet and pet parent relationship in the future. And that’s what brought them to the investment to begin with and then the period of… You know, for the first six months to nine months I guess of the merged company I think just cemented that in their minds and showed that, you know, what they could do as if it was a wholly-owned piece of this large corporation. In some ways it’s kind of interesting that it started as a large corporation, you know, and then to reform itself and matured a bit and then ended up back in owned by a large corporation in the end. And I think all three of those sort of phases of its life were necessary frankly. But it was… You know, you’d have to talk to them to know for sure but I would imagine it was always on the table of ideas that they were planning on. And it was just sort of a matter of timing and the timing worked out quite perfectly for, you know, Tagg and Whistle that they decided to move forward and move forward aggressively as quickly as they did.
Brandon: I think when you hear about people raising money they don’t have to think of a strategic investor like Mars. Is there any insight to how those big companies work and how you can reach out to them to raise money?
Scott: You know, in today’s world, you know, it’s we’re only…we’re all connected at some level to everybody. And I think one of the things that the CEO and COO of Whistle did so successfully is they really were able to connect with so many people and connect effectively to so many people in lots of different areas. And I don’t know exactly where the Mars relationship generated from. But I’ve seen this in several parts of my career that involving, you know, strategic investors and strategic partners in a meaningful way can pay huge dividends. So I certainly recommend as much as possible to, you know, always be focused on finding those types of investors or those types of partners, you know, because there’s just…there’s, you know, more and that’s the reason they call it strategic. There’s more to be gained than just the dollars and cents of the transaction and that, you know, that can ultimately lead to good things for everybody, whether it’s sort of increasing motivation or increased valuation in dollars.
Drew: So Mars is involved. They’ve invested, you know. They’re seeing what’s happening in the combined company. You know, so it seems like they’ve got the inside track. Were they the only kind of person or party at the table?
Scott: There were other bidders when it came down to it and that’s, you know, when I referenced sort of great timing, you know, it worked out that there were some competitor bidders that were, you know, let’s say important competitors for Mars that I think spurred then to move faster than they otherwise might have. And that was good for everybody involved.
Drew: Bidding wars are always good when you’re in the sales process, right? So where did it end up? You know, what did you sell for? You know, what were some of the terms of the sale?
Scott: The business sold for $100 million cash and sort of on top of that and sort of, you know, there were several other sort of subterms to it. But they were all sort of around the concept of trying to maintain the independence of Whistle inside of Mars and give them the freedom to continue to flourish but with, you know, less focus or less worrying about the short-term cash implications of their growth plans and really focus on building the best and most valuable long-term brand and sort of services that they could. And so, you know, we’re just over a year since that transaction. I think it’s about almost 15 months from since that transaction and, you know, I have not been involved for just about a year now. But, you know, everything I see and hear that is that it’s going, you know, swimmingly well.
Drew: Awesome and I’m no mathematician but 20% of $100 million sounds like $20 million. So, you know, is that what you and your partners got?
Scott: I can neither confirm. No, I’m kidding. Yes, 20% of the $100 million is $20 million.
Drew: That’s fantastic. So you had already received six and so you get another 20. I guess what were your emotions when, you know… How were you feeling when you, you know, heard that that deal closed and, you know, what was going on in your mind at that moment?
Scott: You know, it was a great feeling. I guess obviously it felt very validating for the amount of, you know, risk that we took in the transaction, you know, and the different decisions we made that, you know, ultimately it seemed to turn out about as good as we can do but, you know, it certainly wasn’t always looking like that was the case or that’s what the outcome was going to be. So I just think it was felt great and it felt validating me and it really, you know, spurred me and it motivated me to get working on the next deal and see if we can get even bigger than that.
Drew: In that moment I guess where were you when you heard the deal closed and what’s the first thing you did?
Scott: Well, so, I mean, I was sitting at my desk in the office and I heard that it closed. You know, I was… So I was not in the deal room when it happened. But it had been expected that day and, you know, essentially I think in today’s world, as we all know, you know, it’s often sort of remote signatures and just, you know, it’s less dramatic or climactic than it may have been in the past. But what did I do? I mean, I think I e-mailed a lot of my friends and family in telling them about the news and just, you know, sitting back and saying, “Wow. I can’t believe that really just happened.”
Drew: You logged into your bank account to make sure it’s all there.
Brandon: Well, that’s so exciting. How else did your life change after that?
Scott: Well, I think more than anything it broadened my view of the horizon and what’s really possible. And it focused me on thinking bigger. It also afforded me…you know, basically for about the last year I’ve been able to really… You know, I’ve probably worked just about as hard as I’ve ever worked but under a very different environment without, you know, a company to run or investors to, you know, report to and to be able to, you know, chart my own course and, you know, explore lots of different things make several investments and, you know, I think plant a lot of seeds for what should be, you know, a very fruitful harvest in the future.
Brandon: Yeah, everybody says think bigger. People have told me that forever. Like, what does that really mean for you now compared to how you were thinking before and then kind of how it will change how you think in the future?
Scott: I think one way it manifests for me is that, you know, to not worry as much about, you know, how I would finance deal X, Y, or Z, or, you know, or what the, you know, size of the targets that I’m going after. You know, that there’s different financing opportunities and different sources of funding for all sizes of transactions and that just because it’s a larger business or a larger-sized transaction doesn’t mean it’s a harder transaction or that it is, you know, that you need something that I don’t already have. So I think it’s just, you know, focusing more on the specifics of the opportunity and less on the dollar numbers involved, having confidence that if the opportunity is right, the funding and the financing for the transaction will be there.
Brandon: What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to sell their company?
Scott: Try to get multiple bidders involved.
Drew: Nice. One question I have, which goes back a little bit but, you know, when I sold the last company, you know, I went out and got a golf cart that’s big pimping. You know, it’s got hydraulics. It’s all black and surround sound, etc. You know, was there something that you went out and bought and splurged on, you know, after the transaction closed?
Scott: No, not any one thing. But I would say that, you know, the year plus of just, you know, at a disciplined but, you know, slow pace was the biggest thing I splurged on. I didn’t feel like I had any, you know, defined, you know, demand to earn a salary or to, you know, make a certain amount of money in this past year. And I think that I am very, very thankful for that and certainly the transaction afforded me that ability.
Brandon: Absolutely. What do you think you’ll work on next now?
Scott: Well, so I actually have two just sort of operating things happening right now. One is my same partnership with Jim Berline where, you know, continuing to look for the next sort of undervalued technology company and potentially, you know, do another transaction along the same lines of Tagg. And then at the same time, we also formed a new group called Crown Growth. And, you know, we’re focused on finding great entrepreneurs and great businesses and linking them to strong private equity firms and affecting a role of transactions where platforms acquire add-on companies and are able to deliver great returns for themselves and their shareholders.
Brandon: That’s exciting. How can our listeners stay in touch with you through your journey?
Scott: So you can reach me at email@example.com or on LinkedIn you can find me at Scott Neuberger. And I’d certainly love to talk to you, talk to anybody.
Drew: Awesome, Scott. What a great story, you know, a lot of pieces here for people to learn from. Congratulations on all your success and we look forward to continuing to hear what you’re up to.
Scott: Great. Thank you.
Brandon: Good job. That was awesome.