Nathan Sykes

March 8, 2021

Andrew Wilkinson's $110,000,000 Acquisition

When I had to shift to private equity in March of 2020, there were three people that I really took inspiration from on a day-to-day basis. I'll write about the other two some other time, but I would really like to talk about just one today - Andrew Wilkinson.

I had kept up with him somewhat when I was in the marketing world, mostly because of his infamous Slack case study. It was his design firm, Metalab, that had designed the user interface for what would become the most popular work communication software in the world, eventually being sold to Salesforce for $27.7 billion dollars.

I had really started to take notice of him when he started talking more about what he was doing with his holding company, Tiny. It's hard to describe exactly what Tiny is, but it's basically a private equity firm that borrows certain aspects of their methodology from other popular investment vehicles. Instead of flipping companies like most private equity firms do, they hold for the long term. Instead of taking 3-6 months to conduct due diligence, most deals are a yes/no in 30 days or less. Stuff like that is what separates Tiny from the private equity pack.


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I had followed Andrew's work when I had to pivot Howdy Interactive into focusing on micro private equity. I borrowed a lot of his philosophy around investing and buying, and put it into the work that I do at Howdy.

Because Andrew really focused on design for a large part of his professional career, up until recently, it always seemed like that was his main focus and passion, and that his work with Tiny was at a smaller scale than I was envisioning. It's one of the things that drew me to him - I'm able to relate better to an acquisition worth six, seven, or even eight figures. Larger private equity firms that deal with multi-billion dollar transactions are just operating on another level that really provides no value to folks in the micro private equity game.

Whether I had miscalculated the scale at which Tiny was operating, or Andrew and Chris (his partner) had hit a fast patch of growth in 2020 onward, they're strapped on a rocket ship to the big leagues.

On March 5th, Andrew announced that his company, WeCommerce, (that he took public earlier this year), was acquiring the SaaS business, Stamped, for $110 million dollars.

$110,000,000.

I'm perfectly happy with our current deal size (in fact, we're anticipating taking it to $500,000 in April), but that figure makes me happy for the opportunities in this beast of an industry that is finance. It's not quite private equity anymore (because he took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange), but it's close enough in the ballpark to make me interested.

I believe Andrew is 34 or 35 (based on this article talking about his experience in 2008), and his work has allowed him to take a company public that, at the time of writing, is worth $700 million dollars, and to lead a nine figure acquisition that's growing at 100% ARR, and has 120% revenue retention.

It gives me hope for my future.