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From Dragon’s Den Investment to $16.8 Million Acquisition – The Story of truLOCAL

In 2016, Marc Lafleur started truLOCAL, a subscription business allowing people to buy locally-raised meats online.

To ignite sales, Lafleur and his co-founder pitched the company on the popular Canadian TV show Dragon’s Den (similar to Shark Tank). The presentation was a hit as they received an investment of $100,000 from Dragon’s, Michele Romanow and Joe Mimran for 10% of the business.

As a result of their new partners and the free marketing that came from the show, revenues soared.

By 2020 truLOCAL had reached sales of eight figures when Lafleur began receiving interest from acquirers. A few months later, the company was acquired by EMERGE in a deal valued at $16.8 million.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Raise money without giving up all your equity.

  • Find creative marketing avenues for your business.

  • Utilize influencer marketing to accelerate your company’s growth.

  • Avoid selling to the wrong acquirer.

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More About Marc Lafleur

Marc is a University of Waterloo honors graduate who went on to find his niche in entrepreneurship. After co-founding two start-ups in school, Marc co-founded truLOCAL and lead the business to a successful acquisition in 2020 for $16.7M.


Earn-out: Earnout or earn-out refers to a pricing structure in mergers and acquisitions where the sellers must “earn” part of the purchase price based on the performance of the business following the acquisition. Source.

Due-Diligence: Due diligence is an investigation, audit, or review performed to confirm facts or details of a matter under consideration. In the financial world, due diligence requires an examination of financial records before entering into a proposed transaction with another party. Source.

Letter of Intent (LOI): A letter of intent (LOI) is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of one party to do business with another. The letter outlines the chief terms of a prospective deal. Commonly used in major business transactions, LOIs are similar in content to term sheets. One major difference between the two, though, is that LOIs are presented in letter formats, while term sheets are listicle in nature. Source.

Note: A note is a debt security obligating repayment of a loan, at a predetermined interest rate, within a defined time frame. Notes are similar to bonds but typically have an earlier maturity date than other debt securities, such as bonds. Source.

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