From a Failed First Exit to a $40M Acquisition

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About Our Guest

Nicky Senyard is the CEO and Founder of Fintel Connect, a performance marketing company specialising in the financial services industry.

Nicky has been an influencer and leader within the affiliate space for the past 20 years, with the goals of creating contribution and growth for Fintel Connect clients and partners. She has driven the organisation to become a leading affiliate network dedicated to serving the financial services space, with clients that include Scotiabank, Tangerine, and Borrowell.

Nicky successfully exited from her first SaaS marketing technology company in 2016.

About this Episode

From a Failed First Exit to a $40M Acquisition

Nicky Senyard didn’t create the wheel, but she made it a very good wheel for her industry.

She bootstrapped a MarTech business, Income Access, in 2002 centred around affiliate marketing. With her cash flow set to run out after 9 months, Nicky knew she needed to break even – or bust! Fourteen years later, Nicky scaled the company from 3 employees to 90, had one failed exit, and accumulated a large amount of insight into what it takes to be a good leader at a growth-focused start up.

Now, after a $40M exit and onto her second venture, Nicky’s insights have shaped how she’s building Fintel Connect, a performance marketing company specialising in the financial services industry.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How to dominate your space without being first-to-market 
  • Secrets to seeking out VC money
  • The difference between hard and easy money: How to look out for it in the sales process
  • Finding the arterial veins in your business

Connect with Nicky Senyard

Show Notes

(5:54) Entrepreneurs are big dreamers and even bigger risk-takers. Nicky Senyard is no different. To start her affiliate marketing business, she sold her house, took the money, and moved to Canada.

(13:57) Nicky grew her company from 3 people to 90 over 14 years. While she completely bootstrapped this entire operation, she sought funding for her next business. Here are the differences between her experiences and why she approached her next venture differently.

(19:55) One lesson Nicky has learned throughout being a CEO and Founder is that sometimes her involvement is worse than if she wasn't involved. This is a humbling lesson all business owners need to learn.

(35:27) Nicky tried to exit four years before and it failed at the final hour. While this was immensely frustrating, Nicky and the team saw the silver linings, and the second time around, she was able to drive a better deal.

(44:07) Nicky’s top takeaway for scaling a business: You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. What you must be is the person who wants to ask the questions. Stop looking at Step 3 and start looking at Step 10.

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