The Ever-Evolving World of SaaS M&A with Lowell Ricklefs

business growth dealmaking mergers and acquisitions saas strategic growth Sep 06, 2023
The Ever-Evolving World of SaaS M&A with Lowell Ricklefs

In the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have become an essential strategy for growth and market consolidation. Lowell Ricklefs is the CEO and founder of Traction Advising, a company that specializes in helping B2B SaaS companies with more than $5 million ARR get acquired. Lowell's impressive career includes roles as a startup co-founder, CEO, Chairman, COO of a public company, and Global VP of a Fortune 500 company.

With experience as a global mentor, investor, board member, and CEO coach, Lowell is well-equipped to share his expertise on M&A and getting the best value for your business. All of his knowledge and experience compounded, Traction Advising was born out of Lowell's frustration with the traditional investment banker model, prompting him to share valuable insights on maximizing M&A deals for businesses seeking acquisitions.



In the world of mergers and acquisitions, SaaS companies present a distinct landscape compared to traditional businesses. As Lowell knows all too well, these tech-driven enterprises place paramount importance on their future potential and scalability. Unlike conventional businesses that heavily rely on historical financials to make their case, SaaS companies leverage their promise of future growth to entice potential buyers.

This forward-thinking approach enables buyers to be more open to investing in the untapped potential of a SaaS company, shifting the focus from the past to the possibilities that lie ahead. In this blog post, Lowell shares valuable insights into navigating the unique dynamics of SaaS company acquisitions, empowering entrepreneurs to capitalize on their businesses' future prospects and secure lucrative deals.



It is important to understand the motivations and perspectives of both buyers and sellers. In the world of M&A, deals are not just numbers on a spreadsheet; they involve real people with their own emotions, desires, and goals. A successful deal requires a deep understanding of what drives each party and how their objectives align or diverge.

As a seasoned dealmaker, Lowell recognizes the need to put himself in the buyer's and seller's shoes, as well as other key players, such as board members or senior executives. This approach helps in understanding the motivations and concerns of each party and finding common ground for a successful deal.



As with any market, the SaaS M&A landscape is subject to fluctuations. While the market experienced a surge in deal volume over the past few years, some softening of valuations has been observed. Both strategic and private equity investors are more cautious, with a focus on profitability and conservative investment strategies. Lowell predicts a rise in deals involving a mix of cash and stock, as companies seek to bundle their assets to roll up and create larger entities.

The world of SaaS M&A continues to evolve, presenting exciting opportunities and challenges for tech companies seeking growth and expansion. Understanding the unique dynamics of the SaaS space, being proactive in strategy and storytelling, and creatively overcoming obstacles are essential elements for success. Lowell's experience and insights serve as a beacon of guidance for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of SaaS M&A.

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For my full discussion with Lowell Ricklefs, and more on this topic and others discussed:
Listen to the Full DealQuest Podcast Episode Here
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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

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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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