Hacking Your Way to a $22 Million Exit

Built To Sell Radio Episode #361

In 2015 Nick Santora founded Curricula, a cyber security awareness training program that helps companies defend themselves against hackers.


Santora created fun, cartoon training videos in contrast to the dull content that existed at the time. Companies happily embraced Santora’s approach.


By 2021 he had grown Curricula to just over $2 million in annual recurring revenue when he accepted an acquisition offer from the cyber security giant Huntress for $22 million.


In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Know when it’s time to expand beyond your niche.

  • Utilize the “free chicken” conversion method.

  • Implement a freemium model that converts.

  • Avoid a typical blunder made by founders when raising money.

  • Choose the right acquirer for your company.

  • Create competitive tension between acquirers to attract a premium offer.

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More About Nick Santora

Nick Santora founded Curricula, a cyber security education company that helps organizations defend themselves against hackers.


Nick sold Curricula in July 2022 for $22M. Nick and his team created a fun way to use storytelling to educate thousands of businesses across the globe to stay safer online.


Definitions

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.


Churn: Churn is a measurement of the percentage of accounts that cancel or choose not to renew their subscriptions. A high churn rate can negatively impact Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and can also indicate dissatisfaction with a product or service.

Churn is the measure of how many customers stop using a product.


This can be measured based on actual usage or failure to renew (when the product is sold using a subscription model). Often evaluated for a specific period of time, there can be a monthly, quarterly, or annual churn rate. 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.

Product-led growth (PLG) is a business methodology in which user acquisition, expansion, conversion, and retention are all driven primarily by the product itself. It creates company-wide alignment across teams—from engineering to sales and marketing—around the product as the largest source of sustainable, scalable business growth. Source.


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