Jeremy Wing (WPO Southern 7 & Payscape's Co-founder) has led three acquisitions since starting Payscape business 11 years ago. The majority of Payscape’s acquisitions are Software as a Service (SaaS) products, which plug directly into their fintech (financial technology) portfolio and facilitate payment transactions. These acquisitions come from relationships previously had with developers and other partners.
"We are opportunistic in our acquisition strategy," says Jeremy. "We don’t look for auction deals — we look for opportunities. Below are four tips for keeping your acquisitions close-to-home and ensuring everyone plays well together."
1. Partner up: Our most recent acquisition, Vendevor — an e-commerce platform — was a long-time partner that had used our core services to provide SMB’s online shopping carts that could plug into any website, blog or Facebook page. By the time we thought about an acquisition, we had worked with them long enough to know that both the business and personal aspects of the partnership would work.
2. Create a culture of innovation: Our product suite is constantly morphing; when considering an acquisition, we first enact a drill, "is it cheaper to buy it or build it?" Once an acquisition is in motion, you must remain curious and flexible. Work with your team in the field to identify interesting opportunities within your target market, then utilize your core operations model to support sales via channels that have been proven to work.
3. What do you have that they need and vice-versa? Many of the opportunities I’ve identified revolve around someone who has built stable SaaS technology, but doesn’t have the resources to get it to market. We have the ability to scale easily and the know how to take it to market so the relationship comes with a built-in synergy.
4. Who’s on board? Our acquisitions have been purely asset based, thus, we’ve been able to avoid the challenge of integrating differing organizations and corporate cultures. If the CEO and founders come along with the acquisition, you must identify expectations early on, so that everyone’s drinking the same Kool-Aid.