Exiting via an acquisition is one of the biggest scores for many startups. But to hit this milestone, it necessitates a journey that is often long and arduous, paved with doubt, setbacks – so you can imagine the elation and relief that comes after.
Just days ago, Kuala-Lumpur-based property marketplace iProperty was acquired by REA Group Limited, a subsidiary of NewsCorp for AUD$750 million (US$534 million). Naturally, Co-founder and Chairman of iProperty Patrick Grove, took to Facebook to give to pen a lengthy victory letter to his loyal supporters. He also wrote about what the acquisition will mean for the company and startups in general.
Here are some highlights from the post.
From its humble beginnings to a force to be reckoned with
In 2006, iProperty only had 100 clients, and when it went public a year later on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), its stock was worth mere AUD$0.25 ($US0.18).
In a span of eight years, things have accelerated dramatically.
Today, its stock is valued AUD$4.00 (US$2.85), 14 times its initial IPO price, while it has amassed a clientele of over 30,000 – all paying customers. It has also assisted over 75 million people across Asia in searching for a home.
iProperty is adept at cutting losses as well. Before it started to generate profit, it made a total loss of US$12 million. A small amount considering most startups lose US$10 million per year before hitting profitability.
Healthy profit levels means it can afford to hire of staff. Today iProperty has more than 1,000 employees across Asia. And they are no ordinary worker bees too.
“This is 1,000 freaking awesome crazy, bold, daring and adventurous souls that took part in taking on the establishment every second of every day. Fighting against bigger richer organisations with more resources, but never stopping to believe that iProperty was a far better way to find a home.”
Truly, a healthy and successful company is the sum of its inspiring employees …
“our fearless founders (the biggest balls in the world! you started the business in a garage, (this is true!), and gave birth to something amazing”
… and chieftains.
Leaving print media’s smaller players in the dust
Grove claims that this acquisition deal is not only one of the largest by NewsCorp, it also the largest ASEAN deal. Very bold words indeed.
“One of the largest media groups in the world recognised what all of us have known for so long, ASEAN+HK is where it’s at! We are all honoured that this small part of the world we call home, is worthy of global companies that make a global difference.”
At the end of the post, he bids adieu to the newspapers who were left reeling in the face of iProperty’s disruption.
“To all the newspaper companies we all collectively disrupted across the region over the last several year, may you Rest in Peace. Pls [sic] don’t take it personal, because if the iProperty Rockstars [sic] didn’t disrupt you, I can guarantee you somebody else would have!”
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