today i’m thrilled to share a few words that i think every startup founder eagerly anticipates – we’ve been acquired! our new partner, Relay Commerce, builds and operates ecommerce software apps and is backed by venture veterans Primary Venture Partners in New York City.
when we (Ryan Kulp, Justin Mares) launched Fomo in 2016, we had 2 full-time jobs and a vision: to give honest entrepreneurs the credibility they deserve. i’m proud to say that 6 years later our vision remains intact, with 10s of millions of end-consumers having used our product to make better buying decisions online (and off!).
why we’re selling
over the last 2 years we’ve seen a surge of new entrepreneurs in ecommerce and marketing technology. but as a bootstrapped company, there was only so much we could do to capitalize on these opportunities. so in 2021 we began looking for a new partner to help us reach the next level.
how we got here
in an effort to keep our business running as smoothly as possible, with minimal distraction from the M&A world, we engaged our buddy Neil to help get the word out to relevant SaaS companies. the most promising opportunity manifested into a signed offer that we almost committed to last December. key word: almost. ultimately, this self-directed sale process helped reveal a priority that we didn’t realize we had – finding the right partner.
the right partnership
for us, the right acquisition partner is someone who:
- knows marketing tech
- appreciates the brand and IP we’ve established
- wants to keep our team as-is
- lets us operate independently
- has a growth mindset (see: marketing budget) vs simply slashing costs
luckily, we found all of those elements in Relay Commerce. the team at Relay has deep operating experience and has helped scale some of the biggest names in ecommerce and SaaS. they approached us with the perspective to add growth resources and accelerate our roadmap. Relay’s vision to support Fomo’s next stage of growth while maintaining the brand and team is exactly what we sought out in a partner, and I’m excited for Fomo’s future.
if you’re a long-time Fomo customer, you may notice i haven’t blogged here in awhile. that’s because i stepped down from Fomo in September 2020 to pursue new projects in music and entertainment in Seoul, Korea.
our CEO ever since, Hideko Tachibana, has done an incredible job growing the company, maintaining our culture, and stewarding us into this new chapter with Relay. from Hideko: “The Fomo team and I are proud of what we've accomplished as a bootstrapped startup. I'm thrilled to now be armed with Relay's resources, brainpower, and entrepreneurial culture, and I'm confident Fomo is well-positioned for our next stage of growth.”
Hideko and I are excited to join the Relay Commerce fund to both continue operating Fomo, as well as to find the next vision-driven ecommerce SaaS entrepreneurs for their growing portfolio. This is also an inflection point for our own micro SaaS fund, Fork Equity, to help more solo founders achieve an easy exit.
as a bootstrapped SaaS company with dozens of competitors over the years, i’m proud to clock a win today for both ourselves, our new partners, and most importantly our customers. for those reading this who currently subscribe to our services, rest assured that our features, billing, team, access to customer support, and so on will remain the same. in fact, it’s actually all about to get better.
with new resources at our disposal from the Relay team we anticipate accelerated roadmap updates, higher levels of support availability, and of course the runway to continue delivering credibility to honest entrepreneurs like you, for a very long time.