How to sell your company to Google or Twitter

06.06.2014 10:06

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Yesterday Namo Media announced that the start-up has been acquired by Twitter. Founder of Namo is Gabor Cselle who studied at ETH Zurich. Another successful entrepreneur who sold his company to Google is Alain Chuard. He was born in Bern. Yesterday, he spoke about his experiences and success factors for start-ups at the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken.

Alain Chuard sold his company Wildfire to Google in 2012 – for USD350 million plus earnouts and bonuses. Gabor Cselle has sold his first company called reMail to Google in 2010 and co-founded Namo Media in 2013. This start-up built an advertising solution that lets app developers easily add native advertising to mobile apps. Yesterday Twitter announced the acquisition of Namo Media in a blog post: “In our conversations with the Namo Media team, it became clear we share a vision for how native advertising can improve the state of mobile app monetization for marketers, app publishers, and users. We’re thrilled to add Namo Media’s expertise and technology to the ecosystem MoPub and Twitter have already developed to continue building the best native ads platform for app developers and publishers.”

Namo’s founder Gabor Cselle who grew up in Germany and studied Computer Science at the ETH Zurich gives founders some advice on how to be as successful as he is in his own blog. The most important advice in his view is: “Walk before you run. Prove that your product solves a problem for a customer. Make it work really well. Then scale up.“ In addition he recommends not to spend too much time on a grand vision but to concentrate on execution. In his view successful entrepreneurs may work on things that seem small but they get them done extraordinarily quickly.

Alain Chuard who spoke about his experiences at the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken yesterday gave some advice that sounded remarkably similar. For example he said that the culture at Wildfire was an important success factor and he described this culture as follows: “work hard, be humble, execute fast.“

Another success factor Chuard mentioned were the lean organisational structures of his start-up which means that the company didn’t need too much venture capital. „The first year we bootstrapped the company“, Chuard said.

The culture of Chuard’s company, the focus on execution and the lean organisation can also be found in many Swiss start-ups. But Chuard mentioned also other critical success factors that Swiss founders often underestimate. One example is the focus on sales. Chuard said that at Wildfire he very aggressively built up a sales organisation very early on.

The other important point is that Chuard and Gabor Cselle started their companies in the Silicon Valley. Would the same success have been possible if Chuard has founded the company in Switzerland? He is sceptical about that. His recommendation for Swiss founders: “If you are addressing a global market you must have a presence in Silicon Valley for example a business development office.”

A TV portrait of Alain Chuard can be seen at the website of SRF.

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