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Bill Spruill | BoS USA 2022

  1. The Journey Through Exit Bill Spruill
  2. 2 Overview Origin Stories Key Learnings After the Exit… Childhood and Early Career Business Background and Overview The Exit Leadership Maturity The transition from Founder to Leader Strategic Mindset Building with the endgame in mind “The House of Good Deeds” Exit Considerations Variables to consider pre/post acquisition
  3. 3 Origin Stories “Every good story has a long and deep backstory”
  4. • Born (and orphaned) in rural North Carolina • 1975 Goldsboro, NC Population: 32,000 • Lost adopted father during his second tour in the Vietnam War • Pursued education in Los Angeles in late 80’s (during peak of AIDS crisis) • Socioeconomic realities meant that opportunities/expectations were limited… 4 Origin Stories – Early Life Childhood
  5. 5 Origin Stories – Early Career • SAS • Identity Verification Industry • Address Doctor (acquired by Informatica) • Loqate (acquired by GB Group) • Intelligent Search Technology (acquired by Experian) • Multiple “successful” career scenarios available... Career
  6. • Founded in 2010 by Bill Spruill and Charles Gaddy • Enables enterprises to quickly and confidently verify individuals and businesses via a single API • Services 73 customers in 60+ countries • Leverages 100 data partners and 300 data sources • No capital raised until 2020… 6 Origin Stories – Global Data Consortium (GDC) 1 All numbers presented are approximations Business Overview
  7. $1 $8 $20 $28 $5 $40 $150 $300 2016 2020 2021 2022 Revenues Valuation Before Fundraising After Fundraising Exit 7 Origin Stories – Detours on the Route to Success • Despite steady increases in nearly all business metrics, we struggled to raise capital • Met with investors every year, twice a year to try and fundraise…still took 10 years! • Would we have had the same outcome if we were more successful at fundraising? Key Fundraising Data Points1 (in Millions) Fundraising Takeaways 1 All numbers presented are approximations
  8. 8 Origin Stories - The Deal Value Creation • 40 made > $500k • 27 made > $1mm The Emptiness • Signed 12 years away in a hotel in Singapore • It’s okay to seek help Sold to LSEG/Refinitiv • $300mm • 100% cash, upfront What about me? • No handcuffs and maximum optionality • No role Transaction Details Realities of the Deal
  9. 9 Key Learnings “The burned hand teaches best”
  10. • Founders have conviction, drive, and vision. • Founders are able to convince others with their drive and vision 10 Key Learnings – Leadership Maturity • Leaders have to organize, corral, and remove the barriers • Not every founder makes a good leader! Vs. From Founder to Leader: The Evolutionary Process Ability To Delegate Maintain Focused Execution Ability To Say No Traits of a Founder Traits of a Leader
  11. 11 Key Learnings – Building with the Endgame in Mind Does selling help you achieve your goals? Security Validation Exhaustion Next Pursuit Cash Efficient Cash Generating Cash Burning Venture Capital Which option gives you more choices? Why do We Choose to Sell? Creating Optionality
  12. 12 Key Learnings – Building with the Endgame in Mind Positioning for a Strategic Sale Which route is more likely to result in an accretive transaction? • No ecosystem partner • Lots of interested parties • Wrong internal team to manage process Selling to Existing Business Partner • They know your business • The teams have already built a strong dynamic • There is proven value Selling Through Investment Banker OR
  13. 13 Key Learnings – Exit Considerations Prepare Yourself & Team Seek Advice & Counsel Retain Control of Process Calculate Everybody’s Needs Personal Team Investors
  14. 14 After the Exit “Always in motion, the future is”
  15. 15 After The Exit - “The House of Good Deeds” Ecosystem Support Investing Minority Education Mission To Drive the inclusive growth of the Triangle technology ecosystem to a place of national dominance by 2033 Increase early-stage funding sources Create environment conducive to success Provide opportunities for underserved minorities
  16. 16 Challenge for Each of You Reward your Supporters Friends & Family Internal Team Ecosystem Consider What’s Next Enjoy Yourself! “I will give back to the society that helped me. I will build a stronger America.” – Ewing M. Kauffman Consider your newfound ability to catalyze diverse economic activity in your community Reflect on the Journey