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From Zero to $1.2 Million ARR Exit In 2 Years

Built to Sell Radio Episode #303

Paul Farrell Image

Paul J. Farrell built Nehemiah Security, a software company that helped organizations understand and calculate the risks associated with a cyber-attack.

In just two years, the business grew to around $1.2 in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) despite sales cycles of up to nine months. Cyber security software companies can trade for 8-10 times revenue, so when Nehemiah’s financing fell away, Farrell and his wife were willing to cover the company’s burn rate personally.

Then COVID hit, sales cycles ground to a halt, and Farrell became increasingly uncomfortable funding his operating deficit. He decided to sell to ThreatConnect, a cyber security software provider that could sell Nehemiah’s offering to its security-conscious customers.

Lots to dig into in Farrell’s story, including:

  • How to get a family office to invest in your business.

  • How to manage people with more technical skills than you.

  • The role industry conferences play in your journey to sell.

  • The definition of a “Ben Franklin” list.

  • A list of things to do to prepare your company to be sold.

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More About Paul Farrell

Paul’s passion is starting and transforming companies into high-growth organizations with accompanying valuations through continuous improvement and excellence. He is skilled at walking the halls, feeling the culture, seeing the promise in talent, finding the opportunity where innovation can happen, and driving revenue.

This approach works because he loves people. Yes, there is a solid track record of successfully selling and acquiring software companies, but leading people and helping them reach their highest potential is central to what makes the magic happen. Paul is exhilarated by developing diverse, talented teams that outperform the norm.

A few highlights of Paul’s career include:

  • Shepherding a startup from product launch to $1.20 million in annual recurring revenue in less than 2 years.

  • Leading a corporate acquisition that yielded a sale 5 years later at 10x the purchase price.

  • Driving an enterprise client mix shift from one global account to a client base of highly recognizable international brands.

  • Participating in the explosive growth of a global leader in business communications that yielded an 11x return on investment in just over a year.

Paul lives in the DC area. He has a wife of 31+ years and two older children and a dog. He likes to work out, ride and bike and enjoy time with friends and family.


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