Entrepreneur Sells Company for $200 Million

Patrick Campbell based ProfitWell, an advisory platform for SaaS corporations, in 2012 after stints on the U.S. Division of Protection and Google. He bought the enterprise final yr for $200 million.

ProfitWell had no exterior buyers. Campbell paid himself a $74,000 annual wage. He had $20,000 within the financial institution when the deal closed.

How does a founder, or anybody, modify to $200 million from $20,000? Campbell addressed that query and extra in our current interview.

The whole audio of that dialog is embedded under. The transcript is condensed and edited for readability.

Eric Bandholz: What do you do?

Patrick Campbell: I based an organization in 2012 referred to as ProfitWell. We assist subscription companies perceive their metrics with a free software plugged into fee platforms similar to Stripe, Recharge, and Braintree. We now have a few merchandise that assist with retention and with pricing and monetization.

I bought that enterprise to Paddle, a billing and fee firm, in early 2022 for roughly $200 million. We had about 45,000 manufacturers signed up on the time. I’m now Paddle’s chief technique officer.

Once we bought, I had slightly below $20,000 in my checking account. We have been doing over $10 million in recurring income. My common wage over the ten years was $74,000. We have been needing to boost cash to proceed our development. We had self-funded the enterprise — solely bootstrapped. We weren’t pondering of promoting.

Once you promote an organization for $200 million, everybody treats you want a god. Former workers and ex-girlfriends attain out. Everybody thinks it’s wonderful.

Imposter syndrome begins to kick in. You marvel if it was a fluke and in the event you might do it once more. I by no means feared dying earlier than, however now I do as a result of there’s this pile of cash in my financial savings account. Am I going to be “wealthy” accurately? There are lots of bizarre feelings.

Bandholz: You went public with how a lot you made.

Campbell: The thought was it is a huge win for a bootstrap firm. I by no means thought-about the benefits and drawbacks of publicizing it as a result of my persona has been public in constructing ProfitWell. There are downsides for positive.

As an illustration, people hit me up for cash. I’m a goal for scammers. It’s a brand new set of worries. Six individuals hit me up for funds on the day of the announcement. There have been only a few congratulations or affords to catch up. I’ve needed to modify how I interface with sure people.

Bandholz: Final yr you had $20,000 within the financial institution. Now it’s many thousands and thousands.

Campbell: That’s the second a part of the journey. Abruptly, I need to be extra educated about wealth administration. I had no cash available in the market. I had a paid-off home and $19,000 in money. That’s about it.

After the deal closed, the primary curiosity fee got here into my financial savings account. I assumed, “It is a completely different world. That’s years of my prior mortgage.” I began speaking to wealth managers and insurance coverage brokers. I assumed, “I can do something, so let’s do every thing.” I employed 17 workers. I discovered extra about taxes. I even purchased 19 fuel stations as an funding.

I then began contemplating what my spouse and I wished. I by no means wished to enter enterprise. This wasn’t the factor that I wished to do with my life. However  I like constructing. I get pleasure from having a wall to punch by means of, go round, or climb over.

Bandholz: You acquire a residence in Puerto Rico.

Campbell: Paddle’s a distant firm, so we might reside anyplace. My spouse and I began taking a look at a bunch of locations. Puerto Rico wasn’t on the listing till somebody informed me in regards to the tax benefits. However it’s a must to reside there. It’s not simply 183 days. Your physician’s bought to be there. It’s a must to personal your major residence in Puerto Rico.

We find it irresistible. And what’s the purpose of getting cash in the event you can’t reside anyplace?

Bandholz: The place can listeners comply with you?

Campbell: I’m @Patticus on Twitter, or go to ProfitWell.com.

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