eMOBUS Acquisition: How Bootstrappers Close Deals

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.The Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast® on Fri-May-6 features Moe Arnaiz, CEO of eMOBUS, and Mathieu Guilmineau, CTO of eMOBUS. They are going to share lessons learned bootstrapping eMOBUS through several evolutions in service model and technology infrastructure to a recent acquisition by Asentinel.

eMOBUS Acquisition: How Bootstrappers Close Deals

Moe Arnaiz made these remarks during March-16-2016 panel put on by Corum

In 2007 I was the founding CEO of eMOBUS: we provided software and services in the managed mobility services space. We spent the next two years really refining our product to meet the market’s needs, and in 2010 we had sorted out our product and really started to ramp up sales.

Over the next four years, we had a ton of success, adding over 500 innovative customers, including Netflix, Silicon Valley Bank and CBS Interactive. In 2014 we had a hyper growth year and at the same time inbound interest in our business really peaked. Understanding the importance of timing in business, we decided to attach ourselves to something larger through an exit.


After a thorough review we moved forward with Corum, kicking off the project in February 2015. We had a one-day brainstorming session at their corporate offices. We built the assets we needed to go to market. They ultimately know what the buyers are looking for and have the skill to deliver that very concisely so that they can quickly evaluate it.

In April, we decided to do our outreach and that led to a ton of phone calls over the next two months. By June we had multiple LOIs on the table and at the end of August we settled on our LOI and within 45 days of that, we were sold.

Corum helped us find a great partner in Marlin Equity Partners, a very fast, professional, clean group, and a great fit in Asentinel, the company we were eventually rolled into. Our deal closed in October in 2015 and the lessons I learned in that process were:

  1. Run a good business
  2. Focus on your customers
  3. Focus on your top and bottom lines
  4. Run your business like you might sell it one day, follow GAP, keep financials clean, etc
  5. Don’t always follow the highest bid. You want to find the right partner.

Moe Arnaiz in remarks during March-16-2016 panel put on by Corum [PDF of Slides]

SKMurphy’s Support of eMOBUS

I have been an advisor to eMOBUS on an informal since 2007 and a formal basis since 2009. I had encouraged them to talk to the folks at Corum because I think  they are the experts when it comes to software mergers and acquisitions. They are careful to align their incentives with those of the seller and are a high integrity firm. I have received no compensation of any kind for Corum; I did have an advisory stake in eMOBUS by virtue of our long standing business relationship.

For First Timers: The Format of a Bootstrapper Breakfast

RegisterIf you have not been to Bootstrapper Breakfast before here is a heads-up on the format. Everyone has a chance to introduce themselves and talk about what they are working on. In addition of you are facing a challenge you can put it on the table for perspectives and suggestions from the group. After everyone has had a chance to introduce themselves and we have ordered breakfast we will get a briefing from Moe and Mathieu on lessons learned bootstrapping eMOBUS for seven years through the evolution of their business model and technology infrastructure.  Bring your questions for Moe and Mathieu. As always, there will also be time for issues that folks put on the table during their introductions.

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