The Surprising Reason Ryan Kulp Sold Fomo

Built To Sell Radio Episode #351

In 2016, Ryan Kulp launched Fomo because he saw marketers using aggressive popups on their websites. Kulp reasoned that if he could show other people were shopping and interacting with a site, it would give new visitors confidence in the company.

Fomo allows businesses to show off real-time customer interactions (purchases, opt-ins, even pageviews) with a line of code the company installs on their site.

Kulp led Fomo to around $1 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) before deciding to step down as CEO in 2020. Two years later, an acquirer approached Kulp about acquiring Fomo. Initially, he wasn’t interested, but after some soul-searching, Kulp decided to sell Fomo to Relay Commerce in a lucrative exit.


In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Decide when to sell using Kulp’s untraditional approach.

  • Start your business using the same tactic Kulp used to grow to $1m in ARR.

  • Build trust with customers using the fear of missing out (FOMO).

  • Market your offering using other businesses’ brand equity.

  • Delegate tasks while avoiding upsetting customers.

  • Avoid the biggest mistake made when goal setting.

  • Identify the best acquirer for your business using one simple tactic.

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More About Ryan Kulp

Ryan Kulp is a 5x founder and self-taught developer. After working in NYC and San Francisco as a marketer for several Techstars and YC-backed startups, he founded Fomo.com in 2016.


In 2020 Ryan stepped down as CEO of Fomo to pursue a short career in Seoul, Korea, where he co-starred on several television and radio shows. In 2022 Fomo was acquired by Relay Commerce, prompting Ryan to move back to the USA to start a small ranch. He now spends his time running Fork Equity, a micro PE fund, and learning calisthenics.


Definitions

Earnout: An earnout is a contractual provision stating that the seller of a business is to obtain additional compensation in the future if the business achieves certain financial goals, which are usually stated as a percentage of gross sales or earnings. 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.


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.


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.


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