We buy software companies......and help founders feel good about it.
We are entrepreneurs and operators who have lived through the process of founding, growing, and selling software companies. We understand the concerns that you, as a founder, have when determining the best path forward for your company.
A True Long-Term Partner
(No Fixed Time Horizons!)
We are not a private equity fund. We don’t have a defined fund life requiring us to financially engineer and re-trade your company on a fixed time horizon. We combine long-term capital with an approach that enables companies and their leaders to focus on long-term success.
Our Process is Different
- We DON’T expect you to exit (you can, but you don’t have to)
- We DON’T institute a cookie-cutter playbook (we know that every situation is unique)
- We DON’T bring in a team of consultants (we are operators who have actually run companies)
- We WILL protect what you have built and provide the resources to fulfill your vision (legacies matter)
Are We a Good Fit?
(Do You Enjoy a Great Meal?)
Think about a great meal. Not your favorite food but an entire experience. The kind you think about months later. What makes a meal a truly great experience is when all the individual parts come together and complement each other. The side dishes pair perfectly with the entree. The environment matches the culinary experience. The appetizers are portioned perfectly and leave you wanting more, so you are excited about the main course. And, while the food is important, a magnificent meal is also about having the right people at the table.
The idea that bringing good things together in just the right way can create a truly great experience is how we operate. Newly acquired companies join a family of businesses that complement and support each other to grow market share, launch new products, and access new markets.
Does this sound like your B2B software company?
$3M to $15M in Revenue
(with the majority being recurring)
Strong Gross Margins
An Operating Profit
(or are about to achieve profitability)
Established Track Record
(+5 years in business)
(customer and revenue +90%)
(high employee & customer satisfaction)
Beyond the Three- to Five-Year Horizon
Conventional private equity is about one thing – turning your company for a profit. Many PE firms have an investment horizon of three to five years. They bring in consultants and implement their standard playbook to position your (former) company for an eventual sale. For founders who are simply looking to cash out, the conventional private equity machine offers an exit. However, what if you care about more than cashing out? What if you want to know that your company, your customers, and your employees will be cared for as you have done?
Part of Our Family
“Joining the Blue Horizon platform has been a game changer for Synthesis. We’ve been able to rapidly innovate our product, add key talent, and invest more into customer success.”
~John Toepfer, Founder and CEO, Synthesis
“We’re excited about our partnership with Blue Horizon. They have a long-term investment strategy and an impressive group of former software executives that will mentor and support the existing Nirvana team. The capital injection will allow us to invest in sales & marketing, be more competitive, and accelerate our investment in technology, services, and people.”
~Shams Karim, Founder and CEO, Nirvana Financial Solutions
It’s Lonely at the Top
(Founding vs. Scaling)
Founding and building a sustainable company requires passion and leadership, being an expert in your field, and obsessing about your customers. To achieve success, founders often have to be a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, trying to be a fulltime superhero can lead to burnout… which is not good for you or your business. It can be lonely at the top. We know because we have been in your shoes as a founder and leader of businesses. If you are looking for a partner that has been in your shoes and can help shoulder the burden, we should talk.
We embrace and support founders that want to take chips off the table but continue to lead and grow their company. We relieve you from the burden of back office operations so that you can focus on what matters most – leading the business, delighting customers, motivating employees, and growing revenue and profitability. Plus, you’ll tap into to our years of operating experience scaling software businesses and our corporate development resources that provide the opportunity for inorganic growth.
We are also willing to support founders that have decided they would like a change and are ready to transition out of the business but want to make sure their successor will continue to delight customers and motivate employees. If you are ready to realize the fruits of your labor, but have an interest in who will be your successor, we should talk.
A Focus Beyond the Growth at All Costs Mindset
(We Care About Quality)
Founders of software companies (especially those that are bootstrapped) are often frustrated by the seemingly universal view that success is defined solely by achieving hypergrowth. Our view is different. We focus on the “quality of revenue” and are happy with reasonable growth.
What does “quality of revenue” mean? We look at three basic factors in assessing quality of revenue.
- What is the predictability of your revenue stream (e.g., the likelihood that existing customer revenue streams will continue in the future at the same or higher levels)?
- What is the profitability that can be expected from your revenue streams (e.g. gross margins)?
- Is your revenue stream diverse so that the impact of the loss of any one customer is not too great a threat to the amount of the overall revenue stream?
Unlike many investors, we are less interested in your revenue growth rate than we are the quality of your revenue.
Our firm is led by a team of entrepreneurs and operators with many years of experience growing software businesses ranging from startups to public companies. Because of our team’s extensive operating experience, we are able to help our business leaders with practical advice, operating models, and best practices that are anything but cookie-cutter – enabling businesses to scale and thrive.
“Entrepreneurism is in my blood. My entire career has involved entrepreneurial pursuits and building businesses, with the last 25 years spent in software businesses. I love new challenges, building great teams, working with great minds and developing winning strategies. I co-founded and was the Executive Vice President and a Board member of Initiate Systems which became a global leader in master data management and was acquired by IBM in 2010. My specialties are leadership, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, board of directors, startups, corporate development, finance, legal and fundraising.“
Are You Ready?
We bring resources to enhance your company’s ability to innovate more rapidly, improve the user experience, add new functionality, and develop new product lines.
Blue Horizon Software Holdings LLC
50 East Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602