Success in E-Commerce with Stephen Speer

ai artificial intelligence e-commerce entrepreneurship finance mergers and acquisitions stephen speer Apr 04, 2024
Success in E-Commerce with Stephen Speer

On this episode of the DealQuest Podcast, I have guest Stephen Speer, the founder and CEO of eCommerce Lending Inc., a firm specializing in financing acquisitions, advisory, and search services in the online space.

With a lending career spanning decades, Stephen and his team have utilized their expertise in assisting hundreds of entrepreneurs in achieving business acquisition success. As an e-commerce lender, guest speaker, and M&A instructor, he and his firm have funded over 500 transactions totaling over $1 million – making eCommerce Lending Inc. the top lender in the country in this very specialized niche.



One of the key takeaways of this episode is the importance of patience and strategic planning when navigating the complexities of e-commerce deals. There are various components in e-commerce deals that vary from brick-and-mortar businesses, but there are many similarities including the use of earn-outs, seller equity roles, and seller notes, especially in context of larger deals.

Stephen emphasized the need for thorough due diligence and a deep understanding of the client's business goals and objectives. It’s about finding the right opportunity, and the need for buyers to be prepared to act quickly when they find it.

Finding the right advisory services is also a crucial key when making the right deal, as they can guide clients through the deal process – from structuring the offer, to securing the right financing. By leveraging their expertise and industry knowledge, Stephen and his team empower clients to make informed decisions and capitalize on the opportunities within the e-commerce space.



In the last 2 years, artificial intelligence (AI) has grown rapidly in its use across all fields. The state of AI in the business world is still in its infancy, and currently focused primarily on seeking startup capital and venture capital.

When discussing AI in business, some existing companies are buying startup AI companies, while others express fear and uncertainty of the technology. The potential impact of AI on society is both beneficial and potentially negative, and it requires much more exploration and understanding.

One this is for certain for Stephen, AI cannot have the intricate expertise of M&A advisory and buyer representation when it comes to business acquisitions. Acquisitions are never straightforward, and AI lacks the human capability to work on deal structuring, negotiations, or deal financing. That said, educational technology is a growing segment with high multiples due to recurring revenue, while e-commerce is experiencing some softening, particularly in comparison to the software as a service (SaaS) segment.



As an entrepreneur himself, Stephen understands the power of an entrepreneurial mindset in driving deal-driven growth. His keys to the entrepreneurial mindset are patience, resilience, and adaptability, especially in the face of market uncertainties and evolving market landscapes.

Stephen’s history from a young owner of a car detailing business to founding eCommerce Lending Inc. reflects the transformative power of entrepreneurship and the ability to seize opportunities in uncharted territories, Which is, arguably, a hallmark staple of an entrepreneur.

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For my full discussion with Stephen Speer, and more on this topic and topics not featured on this blog post:
Listen to the Full DealQuest Podcast Episode Here

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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, and business consultant with more than 35 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur and attorney.


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