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Episode 31 is the special episode where Tim Schumacher takes over the hosting of the podcast to welcome Don Wharton, Executive Chair and Founder, SureSwift Capital Inc., and James DeGreef, CEO @ SureSwift Capital.

The SureSwift Capital Strategy: Acquiring Profitable SaaS Businesses

At the heart of SureSwift Capital’s approach lies a focus on acquiring profitable SaaS businesses. Don Wharton emphasizes the importance of this strategy, stating, “We’re really focused on acquiring profitable SaaS businesses, and we’re not interested in unprofitable businesses or ones that are burning a lot of cash.” This emphasis on profitability is a key differentiator, as it allows SureSwift Capital to build a sustainable portfolio of SaaS companies that can thrive in the long run.


Understanding SaaS Valuations and Benchmarking

One of the critical aspects of SaaS M&A is the valuation process. Don Wharton and James DeGreef discuss the evolving landscape of SaaS valuations, highlighting the importance of profitability and long-term sustainability as key drivers. “The days of companies being valued solely on growth and revenue are over,” Don explains. “Profitability and long-term sustainability are now the primary factors that investors and acquirers are looking for.”

In addition to profitability, the duo emphasizes the significance of benchmarking. “We spend a lot of time benchmarking the businesses we’re looking to acquire,” says James. “We want to understand how they’re performing relative to their peers, what their key metrics are, and where there might be opportunities for improvement.” This data-driven approach allows SureSwift Capital to make informed decisions and identify businesses that align with their investment criteria.


The Importance of Cultural Alignment and Transparency

Beyond the financial and operational aspects, SureSwift Capital places a strong emphasis on cultural alignment and transparency in their acquisition process. They recognize that successful integration requires more than just a good financial fit; it also demands a shared vision and values between the acquirer and the acquired company.

“We’re really focused on cultural alignment,” says Wharton. “We want to make sure that the founders and teams we’re acquiring are a good fit with our own culture and values. We’re not just looking at the numbers; we’re also looking at the people and how they’ll fit into our organization.”

Transparency is another critical component of SureSwift Capital’s approach. James explains, “We’re very transparent about our process and our expectations. We want the founders and teams we’re acquiring to have a clear understanding of what they’re getting into and what the integration process will look like.”


Operational Excellence and Focusing on What Matters in SaaS Acquisitions

Once a SaaS business is acquired, SureSwift Capital’s focus shifts to ensuring operational excellence. Don and James emphasize the importance of identifying and addressing the key drivers of a business’s success, rather than getting bogged down in the “messiness” of small businesses.

“We really try to focus on the things that matter most,” says James. “We look at the core metrics, the customer base, the product roadmap, and the team, and we work to optimize those areas rather than getting caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day operations.”


Balancing Centralization and Autonomy in SaaS Companies

Another crucial aspect of SureSwift Capital’s strategy is the balance between centralization and autonomy within their portfolio of SaaS companies. A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective, and they strive to find the right balance for each individual business.

“We believe in giving our portfolio companies a lot of autonomy,” says Don. “We don’t want to be overly prescriptive or to stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that made these companies successful in the first place. At the same time, we do provide a centralized support structure to help them scale and optimize their operations.”

This flexible approach allows SureSwift Capital to leverage the strengths of their portfolio companies while also providing the necessary resources and guidance to drive growth and profitability.


The Value of Sharing Knowledge in the SaaS Community

Throughout the discussion, Don and James talk about the importance of sharing knowledge and insights within the SaaS community. They recognize that the industry is constantly evolving, and by openly sharing their experiences and learnings, they can contribute to the broader understanding of SaaS M&A and help other entrepreneurs and founders navigate this complex landscape.

“We believe in the power of community and collaboration,” says James. “By sharing our knowledge and insights, we can help other SaaS founders and leaders make more informed decisions and ultimately drive the success of the entire industry.”

Head of Growth,