The Software Company With 1 Employee That Sold For $100M!

When Jeremy Clarke was growing his software company, he was living a lie.

He would say, “We’re working on this…” or “We tried this and it worked.” He wasn’t being truthful at all. He told people what they wanted to hear.

The lie was the “We” part.

There was no We. It was just him.

Jeremy Clarke started WebMerge in 2011 by coding at night after working all day. After a few months, he launched his first product and got a few customers.

He quit his day job a few years later when his company reached $1 million annual recurring revenue.

The company grew past $2M ARR, then $3M, then $4M.

He built the product himself and had never hired an employee or contractor.

No staff meetings. No daily standups. No Slack chats. No HR issues.

WebMerge was an add-on software product that worked with popular SaaS products. It was in all their add-on marketplaces. No paid marketing and no sales demos. It just worked.

Eventually, Jeremy hired his first employee: a strategic sales rep. Just before growing the company to over $5M ARR. Still almost all profit.

Here’s the second surprise in this story:

He sold his company in 2018 and eventually cashed out for $100 million.

Yep. You read that right.

That’s more prize money than 95% of VC-funded founders ever make by taking big outside funding and trying to grow fast to exit for over $1 billion.

When you sell 80% of your company to VC investors, you actually need to sell it for at least 10 times more to walk away with the same prize.

Yes, we know it’s possible for some founders who take big VC funding to end up with more than Jeremy. That’s what makes the news these days.

But it’s just not likely.

And it’s not likely that a company with just one paid employee grows profitably and sells for $100 million.

But it’s totally possible.

Can you see that?

The possibility of growing a valuable software company without big funding and ending up with more prize money?

Jeremy is a practical founder who won a bigger prize by doing it his way.

I haven’t heard a story of another SaaS founder doing more with less.

Jeremy shares his amazing story and other non-obvious insights on the Practical Founders podcast this week.

Check it out at practicalfounders dot com or click the link in the comments below.

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