Connect Almunen Bej gjorde en Språngbräda fokus investering under hösten 2020 och blev utvalda att pitcha Connects ca 140 affärsänglar här i Region Syd. Men det dröjde inte mer än 5 månader innan en annan större aktör inom samma fält Preglife köpte upp Bej Technologies AB. Vi ringde upp grundaren Tim Schulz för att prata om resan till uppköpet och tips till andra startups som drömmer om en tidig exit.
Hi Tim. Tell us a bit about the current status since launch of Bej App 9 months ago. Approximately how many meetings between parents did you create?
Tim: Since our app launch in summer 2020, we have gotten around 7500 users into the app and have created around 10000 connections between those users. Now with the help of our new owner we are optimistic to grow these numbers quickly.
How did you feel initially about being approached by a larger player like Preglife?
We have not really been approached by them, rather I have been in contact with their founder since September, initially regarding an investment. That did not happen but during the beginning of 2021 the situation had changed and we were looking for possibilities to keep the app afloat and the project going. I approached Tobias Meschke, their founder and CEO once again and told him about our progress and we discussed possible synergies. Then he made us the offer to give us a capital infusion and let us make use of their team (and monetization model) in turn for the majority of the company. After quite long negotiations with all shareholders, we could come to an agreement during the beginning of March 2021.
What happens to Bej now and ahead?
My CTO Daniel and I as CEO stay on board as founders. The two of us have started to hire a development agency to help us with our work. Aside from that, we are gradually starting to meet the whole Preglife team and see more and more potential for synergies. For now, we focus on implementing our new monetization model and to prepare for several new market launches.
Did you draw any important learnings from the Connect coaching process, the panels, and pitches?
The pitching events were really helpful to get in touch with investors and to practice our pitch. Also, the pitching session with you was very valuable and gave me good feedback for my investor pitch. Aside from that, I enjoyed participating in the springboard and I am still connected with some of the participants on LinkedIn.
An advice to other startups looking for an early exit or being approached by a bigger player in the same niche?
I would say: ”Evaluate your situation honestly and decide if you have the financial and human resources to reach the next level with your startup by yourself. If that is not the case (or it is at least very unlikely), I would recommend giving up the majority of your company to a larger industry player if such a chance arises (under the condition that you are still on board in the operative business) – as the saying goes: A small piece of a huge cake is often better than owning the whole, but tiny cake. ;-)