Daniel Clemens founded ShadowDragon to provide the “good guys with the right tools to fight the bad guys…and win.” The ShadowDragon team experienced tremendous growth without a formal sales effort demonstrating the value of their cybersecurity solutions. A hacker at heart, Daniel’s true passion lies with innovating versus running the business’s day-to-day operations. He understood the need for greater business operational knowledge to grow faster and accelerate innovation to help customers proactively respond to even the most advanced threats. We advised Daniel until the time was right, shepherding him through the entire lifecycle of the transaction from the business perspective and helping him personally think through what he needed to do to prepare for the transaction and beyond.
- Software & Technology
- Sell-Side Transactions
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From early on, Daniel was consistently being approached by buyers. After evaluating the potential of ShadowDragon, our advice was to grow the company and offerings before going through a process. Five years later, ShadowDragon was a unicorn software company with referenceable customers, high retention, outstanding growth metrics, and strong profitability. Our focus was casting vision around the potential of the business and educating buyers on the significance of the niche cybersecurity sector where they played. The company was outperforming relative to their peers, and there were numerous opportunities for growth through expanding partnerships, formalizing infrastructure, creating a sales/marketing team, considering integrations, and more.
We ran a broad process reaching out to more than 150 potential buyers. When over 75% expressed interest, we knew the challenge would be narrowing the field to find the right partner for Daniel and the ShadowDragon team. That partner needed to embrace the company’s unique culture, respect the team’s values-driven approach, and professionalize the business without disrupting the engineers who were focused on innovation and solutions. We set up a number of authentic and transparent conversations to identify synergies and fit. At the same time, we introduced Daniel to service providers to prepare him personally for the sale.
Going through the M&A process requires trust and someone that walks alongside you to help navigate the complexities. Working with Ascend made the experience less overwhelming as they provided guidance on all of the areas that I didn’t have any clue about, while pushing our team to keep up the pace to the very end. I can’t say enough good things about the Ascend team. They are precise, competent, strive for excellence, and root their business in principles that foster trust through the entire process. Most importantly, they helped us find a great partner and a great outcome.
- Founder & CEO at ShadowDragon