After completing a very significant capital raise just before the company's most busy quarter, then originating and closing on two merger and acquisition deals, the team at Within3 had their hands full.
Company Founder and CEO Lance Hill says the company had been angel backed and didn't raise a very big seed round to launch the business. So, the company had a management team that was used to operating efficiently.
"We had worked together for a long time in this business and that level of communication, understanding was extraordinarily helpful to deal with all the change, all the challenges, all the differences to the business," Hill says. "So that was the foundation upon which we were able to do what we needed to do as a solid management team."
Post-raise, the company immediately switched to looking at merger and acquisition opportunities.
"There were two schools of thought," he says. "We were still growing at triple-digit growth, and so one school of thought was don't upset the apple cart, don't distract the management team, don't look at acquiring new things because we're beating plan without it. But the way I looked at it is we're in a race to achieve what we need to achieve and if we can take that organic growth that we have and we can find businesses that have technology that can accelerate where we were headed, even pull us forward by six to nine months, given the opportunity that we have that is very important and ultimately creating shareholder value, maybe shortening the timeframe of the hold, lowering the risk of all the parties involved."
So, one of the things Within3 was looking at in an equity partner was one that could really help them with corporate development. The bulk of the company's cap table was angels. The company didn't have a corporate development arm, so finding a partner that could help shape the M&A strategy, translate that into an approach to the market and start identifying firms was important. It wasn't a platform play where the plan would be to add companies for heft and to juice the balance sheet and the P&L, but adding companies where one plus one will equal four or five. The company arrived ultimately at Voxx analytics and rMkark Bio as two companies that could really help them.
Suddenly the company was doing diligence on two businesses, trying to assess softer things like culture and fit and motivation, while at the same time trying to look at the hard financials and trying to understand business and technology fit. That, he says, allowed the company to move very quickly and to close those businesses in such a way that didn't disrupt their core business.
Hill, along with Huntington Bank's Jamie Lynch and John Langenderfer, University Hospitals Health System's Eric Beck, and ValueHealth's John Palumbo spoke at last year's Cleveland Smart Business Dealmakers Conference about how health care entrepreneurs fuel growth.