Case Study:

Technical Due Diligence Delivered

How the Georgian Impact Team Helped ScribbleLive Acquire Two New Businesses with Confidence.

Content marketing software platform, ScribbleLive, has experienced dramatic growth over the past year. And, while much of that growth has been organic, the Toronto-based company also expanded as a result of several strategic acquisitions. In January 2016, it acquired a content creation platform called Visual.ly. Later that year its acquisition of SEO platform Linkdex followed.

While acquiring a company can be a great way to grow your customer base and expand your offerings and capabilities, it can also be a risky proposition. That’s because no matter how great a company may look at face value, unless it’s the right fit for your business, acquiring it could potentially do more harm than good.

Among the many aspects of a company that needs to be carefully scrutinized prior to an acquisition, its technology is one of the most important. Companies need to be able to easily integrate their systems and do so in a way that’s both seamless to customers and that results in a better overall experience for them. If it’s going to take a massive investment of time and resources to bring that integration about, the deal may not be worthwhile.

Tech Experts Know Good Tech Targets

Recognizing just how important the technology piece of the puzzle was, ScribbleLive decided to turn to Georgian Partners for help. “While we could have done the technical due diligence for these acquisitions ourselves, I didn’t want to distract my team from all of its other priorities,” says Vince Mifsud, the company’s CEO. “Plus, having worked closely with Georgian Partners over the past couple of years, I knew just how technically savvy they are and just how valuable their opinion would be.”

As part of that process, Harris and Mihailescu conducted full-day sessions with the leadership teams of each prospective company. Together they would examine everything from the company’s product roadmap to its management processes, product and technology leadership, architecture, approach to security and its intellectual property.

Soon after, Mifsud engaged the Georgian Impact team to help run technical due diligence on the companies he was thinking of acquiring. Georgian’s Chief Technology Officer, Hershel Harris, and its Director of Technology, Madalin Mihailescu, reviewed a number of different acquisition targets before helping ScribbleLive close two of them.

“We carefully evaluated each company just as we would if we were doing diligence on a company that we intended to invest in ourselves,” recalls Mihailescu. After talking to the companies and collecting various data points, Georgian Impact compiled a 10-page report about each, in which they summarized each business’s strengths and weaknesses and shared their recommendations.

Not only did the work wind up saving ScribbleLive the tens of thousands of dollars that the company would have spent getting a third party to do it, it did something much more important. “Getting the green light from Georgian Partners is like getting Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” says Mifsud. “Once a company had their blessing, I knew that at least from a technology perspective I could proceed with the acquisition with confidence.”

Today Visual.ly and Linxdex are fully integrated into the business and have become important additions to ScribbleLive’s growing brand. “These were great additions to our business,” says Mifsud, “and we appreciate having a true partner in Georgian that’s always finding ways to add value that go well beyond lip service you get from most venture funds.”

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"Getting the green light from Georgian Partners is like getting Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Once a company had their blessing, I knew that at least from a technology perspective I could proceed with the acquisition with confidence."

avatar-vince-misfud

Vince Mifsud

CEO, ScribbleLive