What did it feel like to sign the dotted line and give up your ‘baby’?

December 28 2020

Contributed By: Chris Martin, Managing Director, Food Tech Group

in this edition of our Q&A style series, former Tibersoft CEO and Founder Chris Martin talks about being acquired by CSI/Volaris.

Tibersoft had double-digit growth for years but wasn’t going to go public. So in 2016, we began looking for a private transaction. During the “close,” all kinds of emotions are running through you - especially if this is your first time. “Is this really happening?” Then there is the leap of faith feeling. Will this relationship be what we hope it will be?

And there is certainly a feeling of relief. There was a relief for not having to be bought by a strategic acquirer or a private equity firm in our case. The team wanted to retain its identity, which would have been unlikely in a strategic acquisition. Independence is crucial to us. We were not eager to go through this again in 5 years as private equity always needs an exit. So the permanence of not being sold really felt right.

I also felt excitement. We were growing but knew we could be sharper. Over the years, getting good counsel on running a vertical market software business had been hit or miss. We were eager to tap into the knowledge base of the experienced business leaders without having it forced on us. I didn’t hear the phrase “coaching culture” until later, but that really captures it. Get what you need when you need it.

It has been 4 years, and although the details have started to fade, the emotions are vividly clear. Yes, 2020 ‘had its moments,’ but the relationship has been exactly what we hoped.