Exit during COVID-19
November 10, 2020
"Just being close to 13 years in the Finnish company Accanto Systems Oy we finally managed to make exit under Covid -19 time frame. Company assets were acquired by IBM announced 01. April 2020" by Jorma Heinonen, angel investor and FiBAN member.
Accanto’s press release here.
I have been investor and board member from the very beginning, also many years operational in global sales management. So, I have been able to see and feel the journey.
Since we did management buyout (MBO) from original VC we have had several investment rounds and private investors to help the company growth. Some of those investment rounds have been crucial for our product development and entering new international markets.
All the way we have had company focus to create products and services which will add value to our global customers and partners without thinking too much any exit options.
This was my fourth exit and some interesting points learned so far to share with You. I have also seen few bankrupts and “Fire Sale” cases in my portfolio.
This has been great journey and experience. I am thankful working with these professional Accanto Systems team members in Finland and abroad.
- As an investor you must be patient enough. Things will always take much more time than you expected.
- Small tickets on the way mean less risk but can still give you reasonable IRR.
- Typically, you underestimate the challenges to enter global market even your product may be the best in the market.
- The excellent founder team is so important. If they have done successful exit before this will help a lot throughout the journey.
- You better start with friendly customer to proof your product, busines case and market acceptance before entering global market.
- If your global market potential is not big enough, you better stay local.
- Be sure that you have enough money when you enter the global market. For sure it will cost more than you expected.
- Try to get advisors and investors which have enough knowledge from the international business as well enough money to enter that market.
- Be due diligence ready from day one. It will be then fine when ever needed.
- Start also using competent advisors early enough in case someone is interested to acquire your company, or you are ready to exit.
- At the end make sure that the company keep the focus in their daily business, happy customers and real customer revenues all time. The exit may come if you are lucky and timing is right.
Jorma Heinonen CEO