Advising a bootstrapped company requires a unique approach

Driven by investors’ demand to generate return on equity, traditional investment banks cater their services to the largest global businesses. In fact, Lloyd Blankfein, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, once stated the bank’s strategy is “chasing GDP around the world”. This motivation makes traditional banks a bad fit to advise bootstrapped companies whose founders are contemplating the next step.

Traditional banks often pitch founders on their widespread access to buyers and a history of successful deals. In reality, their standardized process fails to deliver the unique approach needed for deals of this nature. My partners and I founded ScaleView to address this need.

After founding, growing, and ultimately successfully selling our SaaS business in 2018, we started ScaleView as the investment bank by founders for founders. We find the divide between traditional bankers and entrepreneurs exists, in part, due to the typical banker’s lack of operational experience — they haven’t actually been in your shoes. This disconnect inhibits their ability to grasp basic truths you face as a bootstrapped company, like the trade-off between managing for cash flow versus maximizing growth. Given the economics and incentives at work in their business, typical investment banks often lump your company with their other clients, assign a junior employee to run the process, and leave you feeling forgotten.

The ScaleView team has experienced firsthand the day-to-day grind of building a software business, and that informs our approach. First, we listen to ensure a deep understanding of your business and your priorities before we create materials and contact investors or buyers. If the best decision is to sell the business, we run a tightly managed process in order to maximize the outcome for you, your employees, and your shareholders. Our operational experience combined with your input allows us to frame the opportunity and target the right buyers.

We understand founder and employee interests are complex and post-deal integration can be challenging. Our commitment to find the right partner, create the best structure, and achieve the maximum value for every client is what motivates us. ScaleView’s founding partners are intimately involved in every client interaction, resulting in a level of dedication and expertise unmatched by a traditional investment bank.

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