The Humble Yogi Sells His Business

Built to Sell Podcast


This was a pretty interesting episode of John Warrillow's Built to Sell podcast.

Along with three friends, Sebastian Johnston co-founded TheAmazeApp in 2014. The idea was simple: Social media influencers could upload a picture of what they were wearing and tag the clothing on TheAmazeApp’s database of e-commerce retailers. Then, when one of their followers purchased the item, TheAmazeApp would receive a commission they shared with the influencer. 

The founding team raised $800,000 through the San Francisco-based accelerator 500 Startups. By leveraging their influencers to drive traffic, TheAmazeApp quickly grew to 4 million active users per month!  Eight months later, TheAmazeApp was acquired by Zalando, one of Europe’s largest fashion wholesalers. 

There’s a ton to enjoy in this episode, including:

  • How the “traffic arbitrage” business model works.
  • How to get developers to accept shares instead of cash for their work.
  • How an acqui-hire works.
  • Why you should never reveal the names of the other bidders for your company.
  • How Johnston kept a poker face throughout the negotiation despite running short of cash while the acquirer dealt with an internal issue.
  • The surprising role humility, yoga, and meditation played in getting a deal done.

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