10 Concepts We Can Learn About Media Asset M&A in How2Exit's Interview W/ Michael Fink, Co-CEO Of Treasure Hunter E111: Watch Here
Here is what my team and I learned from this interview: (These are notes from team members, writers, sometimes AI, and even listeners who submitted what i learned loosely edited and shared here) - If it seems a bit unrefined, you're reading our notes, so. yeah. -Ron
Concept 1: Grow From Nothing To Giant
The idea of growing from nothing to a giant is one that many people dream of. For Michael Fink, co-CEO of Treasure Hunter, this dream became a reality. Starting with only 1000 euros, Michael and his wife co-founded EverGrowing, a product review website that quickly gained traction in the German speaking markets. Their success was due to their focus on providing high-quality product reviews and product guides.
In 2019, they saw the rise of big media companies entering the space, such as CNN and the New York Times. Instead of competing with these giants, Michael and his wife decided to team up with them and enter into partnerships. This decision paid off, as they now have partnerships in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United States, and Brazil. They have also acquired a stake in Revu, a public company that runs partnerships in the Latin American market.
Michael and his wife have achieved success without taking on any investors or business agents, and without any debt in their balance sheets. They have grown EverGrowing into more than 30 websites, including 20 partnerships with renowned publishers all around the globe. These partnerships reach more than 30 million people a year, and the media companies they are partnered with have a total of more than 1.2 billion monthly users.
Michael Fink's story is a testament to what is possible when you have a dream and the determination to make it a reality. Starting with only 1000 euros and a vision, they have grown EverGrowing into a giant. This story of success shows that, with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.
Concept 2: Explore Passion Markets
When they saw the success of Amazon FBA aggregators, they decided to apply the same model to a space where they had a lot of knowledge and experience. Instead of creating another Amazon FBA aggregator, they chose to focus on what Michael Fink calls "passion markets". These are markets that have huge followings and are driven by passion. Examples of passion markets include fishing, golf, health, travel, outdoor activities, sports, and food.
The success of EverGrowing and Treasure Hunter is due to their ability to identify and capitalize on these passion markets. They acquire assets at a fair price point and then aggregate them to create a portfolio. They also leverage the organic traffic and growth of these assets to increase their value.
The team has also professionalized the sites they acquire by using better SEO tactics, better content strategies, and optimizing the sales processes. This has allowed them to more than double the revenue of their sites within a couple of months.
Passion markets are a great way to diversify traffic and make money. They are driven by passion, so people are willing to spend money on the latest and greatest products. The success of EverGrowing and Treasure Hunter is a testament to the power of passion markets. With hard work and dedication, anyone can capitalize on these markets and make their dreams a reality.
Concept 3: AI Will Disrupt Industries
However, this is not the only way to make money. Mergers and acquisitions of small businesses is also a great way to make money. RedVentures is a great example of this. They have been able to double down on their financial vertical and make two billion dollars per year. They have been able to acquire big finance assets like Points Guys and make a killing.
However, I am now starting to realize that AI will disrupt many industries. AI is already making its mark in the digital media space. It is making generic how-to content and generic tech and programming a commodity. This means that teams that used to run with 100 FTEs might now be able to run with only 3 to 5 FTEs and an army of AI marketers, coders, and experts.
This means that we will see more small and medium startups on the horizon. These startups will eventually look for an exit or acquire a competitor. This is why the M&A space will be a big winner in this scenario. VC money will be less in demand as AI can do much of the work without the strings attached.
Overall, AI will disrupt many industries. It will make generic content and tech a commodity and allow small and medium startups to thrive. It will also disrupt the VC space as AI can do much of the work without the need for VC money. In the end, the M&A space will be a big winner, as more and more startups will be looking for an exit or to acquire a competitor.
Michael Fink had a refreshing point of view that AI will not be able to replace authentic human experience and content that is derived from in-person experience will have a place.
Concept 4: AI Is The Future
AI is the future. It will create efficiencies and opportunities in many industries. It will increase productivity and reduce costs. It will also create new jobs and opportunities for those with the right skills. For example, AI will create opportunities for software developers, data scientists, and machine learning engineers. Furthermore, AI will enable new products and services that will revolutionize the way we live and work.
AI is already being used in many industries, from healthcare to finance. AI can be used to diagnose diseases, to analyze financial data, and to manage customer service requests. It can also be used to automate routine tasks, such as data entry and customer service. AI can also be used to create personalized content, such as videos and audio. This can be used to create an engaging user experience and to provide personalized recommendations.
AI will also be used to create new products and services. For example, AI can be used to create virtual assistants that can help with tasks such as scheduling appointments or providing customer service. AI can also be used to create personalized shopping experiences, such as providing recommendations or helping customers find the right product. AI can also be used to create virtual reality experiences, such as virtual tours or virtual worlds.
AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries. It can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create new opportunities. It can also create new products and services that will improve our lives. As AI continues to evolve, it will become an even more powerful tool for businesses and consumers. In the future, AI will be an integral part of our lives, and it will be the key to unlocking a new era of innovation.
Concept 5: Synergies Create Growth
One way that businesses can use AI to their advantage is through the concept of synergies. Synergies occur when two or more different entities work together to create something greater than the sum of their parts. In the business world, this could mean combining two different technologies or products to create a new, more powerful product. By leveraging the power of synergies, businesses can create new products and services that are more efficient and cost-effective than ever before.
Synergies can be especially powerful when it comes to content creation. By combining different sources of content, businesses can create something new and unique. This could include combining different types of data and information, or combining different types of media such as text, audio, and video. By leveraging the power of synergies, businesses can create unique and engaging content that will attract more customers and increase their reach.
Synergies can also be used to create new opportunities for businesses. By combining different technologies, businesses can create new products and services that will be more efficient and cost-effective. For example, AI can be used to create more efficient search engines, which can help businesses find more customers. AI can also be used to create more efficient customer service systems, which can help businesses improve their customer experience. By leveraging the power of synergies, businesses can create new products and services that will help them grow and become more successful.
Synergies create growth. By combining different technologies and products, businesses can create something new and unique that will help them reach new customers and increase their reach. By leveraging the power of synergies, businesses can create new products and services that will be more efficient and cost-effective than ever before. In the future, AI will be an integral part of our lives, and it will be the key to unlocking a new era of innovation. By leveraging the power of synergies, businesses can create new opportunities and create growth.
Concept 6: Acquire And Preserve Content DNA
The same concept applies to content. By combining different content sources, businesses can create something new and unique that will help them reach new customers and increase their reach. This is where Treasure Hunter comes in. By acquiring assets and businesses, Treasure Hunter can create a holistic portfolio within various verticals with huge synergies in place. This allows them to create a company with a management team and a track record for history. This is especially important when it comes to acquiring assets without management, as private equity companies are not interested in venturing into asset-based companies without the right management team in place.
Treasure Hunter also understands the importance of preserving the content DNA of their assets. By preserving the spirit and quality of their content, Treasure Hunter can ensure that their assets are able to reach a wider audience and create more growth. This is done by onboarding the content creators and freelancers that are already associated with the assets and transferring their style and writing. This allows Treasure Hunter to maintain the quality and spirit of the content while also expanding its reach.
In conclusion, Treasure Hunter is a great example of how businesses can leverage the power of synergies to create growth and preserve content DNA. By combining different content sources and leveraging the power of synergies, Treasure Hunter has been able to create a holistic portfolio of assets and businesses that are able to reach a wider audience. Furthermore, by preserving the spirit and quality of their content, Treasure Hunter has been able to ensure that their assets are able to reach a wider audience and create more growth.
Concept 7: Exit Investors in Five-Eight Years
When it comes to exit investors, Treasure Hunter has been able to create a five-eight year exit strategy that is flexible and allows them to preserve the content DNA of their assets. By taking on investors, Treasure Hunter is able to provide them with an exit strategy that is tailored to their needs. Furthermore, they are able to provide investors with a liquidity event at some point in the future, allowing them to maintain their assets and create more growth. In addition, by taking on private lenders and providing them with a piece of the action over time, Treasure Hunter is able to provide them with the security and liquidity that they need.
Overall, Treasure Hunter has been able to create a five-eight year exit strategy that is tailored to the needs of their investors. By taking on investors and providing them with a liquidity event at some point in the future, Treasure Hunter is able to ensure that their assets are able to reach a wider audience and create more growth. Furthermore, by taking on private lenders and providing them with a piece of the action over time, Treasure Hunter is able to provide them with the security and liquidity that they need.
Concept 8: Sellers Prioritize Relationships
However, one of the most important aspects of Treasure Hunter's acquisition strategy is the fact that they prioritize relationships. This is evident in the fact that they take the time to understand the personal situation of the seller, their needs, and how they can structure a deal that is mutually beneficial. This is in contrast to many other M&A brokers who try to "harass" the seller into a deal.
By taking the time to listen and understand the seller's needs, Treasure Hunter is able to create a deal that is tailored to the seller's needs. Additionally, by being the "favorite buyer", Treasure Hunter is able to be flexible with the terms of the deal, such as the equity and debt structure, and the revenue-based financing. This allows them to move parts of the deal around to become the favorite buyer.
Furthermore, Treasure Hunter has also found that many sellers don't sell to the highest offer. Instead, they sell to their favorite offer, which is often the one that is the most appealing to them, such as the one that is provided by someone they trust and feel acknowledged by. This is why Treasure Hunter focuses on becoming a safe pair of hands for their customers, content creators, and employees. They take the time to listen and understand their needs and have their best interests in mind.
In conclusion, it is clear that Treasure Hunter prioritizes relationships when it comes to their acquisition strategy. By taking the time to understand the seller's needs, they are able to create a deal that is tailored to the seller's needs and provide them with the security and liquidity they need. Furthermore, by becoming the favorite buyer, they are able to be flexible with the terms of the deal and provide the seller with a deal that is appealing to them. As a result, Treasure Hunter has been able to successfully acquire a number of businesses and create a successful exit strategy for their investors.
Concept 9: Trust and reputation matter
Trust and reputation are essential elements when it comes to any business transaction. This is especially true when it comes to the acquisition of a business. In the case of Treasure Hunter, they learned this lesson the hard way when they entered the US market. Without any reputation or trust in the industry, they had to hustle to create deals and build relationships with asset owners. However, once they had successfully acquired a few assets, they started to build their reputation and trust in the industry. This allowed them to get more inbound leads and create better deals.
Trust and reputation are not only important when it comes to acquisition, but also when it comes to running a successful business. By building trust with customers and partners, businesses can create long-term relationships and increase customer loyalty. Furthermore, a good reputation can help businesses to attract new customers and partners and increase their brand recognition.
In short, trust and reputation are essential elements when it comes to any business transaction. By taking the time to build relationships and establish trust, businesses can create better deals and increase their success. Furthermore, trust and reputation can help businesses to attract new customers and partners and increase their brand recognition.
Concept 10: Stay Curious, Stay Positive
Staying curious and positive is an important part of any business endeavor. Staying curious means to always be learning and exploring new opportunities. It means being open to new ideas and to be willing to try new things. Staying positive means remaining optimistic and having faith in the process. It means being resilient and to stay focused on the end goal.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, staying curious and positive is essential. There are numerous opportunities in the market and it is important to take the time to explore them. It is also important to remain positive and to have faith in the process. Mergers and acquisitions are complex transactions that involve a lot of risk, but with the right mindset and preparation, they can be highly successful.
In addition to staying curious and positive, it is important to stay informed and to be aware of the latest trends. With the rise of artificial intelligence, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and to understand how it might affect the industry. By staying informed, businesses can better prepare for potential disruptions.
Finally, it is important to be smart and to diversify investments. It is important never to invest more than one can afford to lose and to diversify investments across different industries and revenue streams. By diversifying investments, businesses can reduce their risk and increase their chances of success.
In conclusion, staying curious and positive is essential to success in any business endeavor. By staying informed, diversifying investments, and staying positive, businesses can increase their chances of success and create better deals.
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