Sam Knight is a startup entrepreneur who grew a construction software business with a friend in the Dallas area.
Sam and his cofounder sold their growing SaaS business in 2020 for an exciting multiple (of revenue).
BOLT Software had just surpassed $1M ARR.
It wasn’t a big $10M, $50M SaaS company when they sold it. It wasn’t a unicorn.
After five crazy years of experimentation, survival, learning, and steady growth, Sam and his co-founder Josh were courted by a much larger construction software company.
They got a great deal and they took it.
Here’s why it was valuable to another software company:
1) BOLT just focused on the construction trades (electricians, bricklayers, painters, etc.) that actually build the houses, not the big residential home builders. There are 100x more tiny trades businesses than big homebuilders, but most of the software in the industry is for the builders. It’s a wide open segment of the market.
2) They had a real product and happy, paying customers, which are clear signs of product-market fit. The bigger software company (ECI Solutions) can grow from here with steady iteration, not crazy experimentation.
3) BOLT Software was solely focused on project mgt. and scheduling for construction trades and their buyer wanted exactly that solution to fit in their portfolio. Their focus paid off.
Sam loves the startup game and is good at it. And his cofounder still runs a successful electrical contractor business. They didn’t want to run a larger software company. Or do it for another 5-10 years.
They funded this company out of the cofounder’s electrical contracting business plus a little family donation from Josh’s Dad. No angel, seed, or venture investors. They could sell when it made sense to them.
It’s a great scrappy startup story. You can hear it on the Dallas Software Podcast page.
Thanks for sharing your story, Sam. I’m excited to see what you do next!