Since I got that question so many times, let me tell the story of our acquisition by Jive.
It all started with an email on August 1st, 2012, that landed on our generic email address : contact @ producteev.
I check this inbox every other day usually, in that case, it took me 2 days before I replied…
In 2012, we got a couple of those emails from other parties, so I knew the process, and was going to schedule a call quickly.
We got on the phone the day after, the call went very well. They had done their homework on the space and Producteev, and seemed to know our product really well, which was definitely something I appreciated. At the end of the call, no next steps though..
One part of the conversation was really important, the one when I mentioned that we had a term sheet to raise more money. We were indeed about to sign that term sheet with great investors, at great terms, and I was really happy about it. I wasn’t looking to sell Producteev at all when I got that email from Jive. We were profitable, growing and working on a big product update. No rush at all.
Like I said, no next steps at the end of the call. That meant that nothing was going to happen anytime soon..
Well, I was wrong. The day after, at 8am, I get a call from the VP Corp Dev (whom I quickly had on speed dial shortly after by the way!), with a short message: “Ilan, we want to compete with your new round, would you consider an acquisition?”. Gotta love the honesty there. I said, sure, let’s talk about it. A couple of days later I was in Palo Alto to pitch some of the Jive exec team, and it went really well.
Fast forward to a month and half later, Sept 25th, I am back in Palo Alto for a big presentation and live demo to the whole exec staff : CEO, CMO, CFO and everybody else… They were all there, and to be honest, I didn’t feel any pressure, because that’s my life theory.
Everybody sounded REALLY excited by the potential of this, and Tony, Jive’s CEO came shaking my hand, and told me : “I told my team to move fast with you guys, really fast”. From that point on, I knew it was going to happen. The drinks we had with Oudi (my manager now), and the VP Corp Dev, on that night, were really fun. Well let’s say, we all got drunk to freely start sharing some numbers.
Between that day, and the day of the announcement, there was exactly 35 days. Which is exceptionally fast to close a deal of this size..
My days and nights during the acquisition process were simply the busiest and most stressful I’ve ever had. The “due diligence” as they call it, is very time consuming, but hopefully, if everything is clean, you go through it, it just takes a lot of time.
And suddenly, the announcement goes live on November 5th. This feeling of a fantastic achievement where your investors thank you as much as your users is really hard to describe.
This is really what I am most proud of: we did this thing right. Usually, when being acquired, you’re leaving some parties unsatisfied: employees, users, customers, investors, founders… Hard to content everyone right? Well, that was the only condition for me to sell Producteev, I wanted everyone to be proud of the outcome, and I can safely say that that’s the case today.
Will have more blog posts soon on things I learned as an entrepreneur from this acquisition, stay tuned.