One of the best parts of working with founders of technology companies is they are poised for scale right from the start. The potential to scale is rooted in creating products and businesses that can grow and manage increased demand. If a local tech company achieves high growth through scaling, there are jobs created, a more diversified economy, and greater connectedness between our community and other cities around the world. In short, when companies scale to the world from Edmonton, it benefits all of us!
Thinking about how your company can scale when you're just getting started will help you make informed business decisions around how to make your operations and product more stable and competitive - from your systems and product roadmap to how your team is structured. Building with this mindset means you will be ready to handle a massive influx of demand from customers and pressure from competitors.
Companies grow to scale in different ways - companies can leverage technology to create partnerships with big industry players, or they can attract significant VC investment. Often CEOs and their teams of advisors are focused on building business growth through a mix of these strategies.
Another pathway to growth is an acquisition. An acquisition is when one company purchases the technology or entire business operations in cooperation with the selling company.
Aquisition is an option you can consider, no matter the size of your company, as an opportunity to grow. But don't build your company with the sole focus of being acquired - that's not the best way to go about creating a scalable product. Building to find success through acquisition can make founders less innovative, really hard on employees, and frankly, not awesome to work for because it's a tough rallying cry to rally the team around.
So, when we're talking about scaling by acquisition what do we mean? Especially, if we're not talking about a large player purchasing your company!
An exciting recent announcement from Edmonton-based education technology company Showbie is an excellent example of growth through acquiring a company aligned to your goals.
Already well on its way to scale, Showbie has more than 3 million current users in 140 countries, with its product available in 14 languages. This week Showbie announced its acquisition of Socrative from MasteryConnect, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based education software company.
Founded in 2012, Showbie’s mission is to build tools to help teachers and students everywhere be more productive and creative in the paperless classroom. As teachers are confronted with increasing demands on their time, and as technology becomes an essential element in many classrooms, Showbie provides tools for fast, meaningful assignments and feedback. Socrative, founded in 2010, currently has 3.7 million educators around the world using their product to deliver formative assessment tools that gauge student understanding in real time.
While Showbie plans to seek opportunities to make the products work better together in the future, the brands will continue to operate as separate apps.
“We are excited to integrate Socrative into the Showbie family and continue to innovate to deliver tools that will enhance the learning journey for educators around the world,” said Colin Bramm, CEO and Cofounder of Showbie.
The acquisition opens lots of opportunities for Showbie's growth - entrance into new markets, technology integrations, a new customer base, and a larger team!
Often the acquisition stories we hear are of American companies purchasing Canadian startups and then comes the potential for relocation and the loss of bright minds and community members from our backyards. Showbie's announcement and growth through acquisition is a wonderful example to our early-stage founders that scale is possible from Edmonton and there are many paths to achieve growth.
Congratulations to Showbie on this exciting news! We want more and more founders to start, build, and scale their tech companies from Edmonton, just like Showbie! Reach out to book a meeting with a Community Manager to find out how we can help support your efforts.