This episode is unique and is a joint episode with Karen Spencer from Searchfunder, Walker Deibel, and myself, and is something I'm calling "Author's Chat."
My fifth guest of the show is Nick Haschka, an MIT graduate living in San Francisco focused on buying small private companies through his firm Cub Investments, along with two other partners. Together, they recently purchased a business called The Wright Gardner which provides interior plant leasing and maintenance services to companies in the bay area. One thing that is interesting about Cub's approach is their use of add-on acquisitions to expand the plant leasing business and part of our discussion is on how they view the risk with add-ons vs platform acquisitions, which was very interesting.
Today I'm chatting with Peter Bell and Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners in Tacoma, WA, just south of Seattle. Peter and Justin both reached out over Twitter and the more I learned about their firm, the more interesting to me it became. Traction is a small private equity firm that blurs the lines between a private equity fund and a permanent capital vehicle, which is what made them so interesting to me.
This is my first conversation on this podcast with more than one person. I'm meeting with the team from Searchfunder.com, an online community dedicated to search funds and the various parties involved. A search fund is the smallest form of micro private equity I've found thusfar and is typically one entrepreneur seeking out a company to buy and run as the CEO. The team consists of the two co-founders, Luke Tatone and Mark Yuan, and their COO Karen Spencer, all of whom are graduates of MIT.
My conversation today is with Mike Boyd. Mike is originally from Brisbane, Australia and currently lives in Singapore where he runs one of the leading car rental comparison websites in the world - Vroom, Vroom, Vroom, among other portfolio companies. He has been an entrepreneur for virtually his entire life, starting at a very young age. Mike built on his experience starting businesses and has evolved to buying them whole. Today he invests his own money, permanent capital, into digital-only companies and intangibles globally, with the goal being to build a portfolio of cash-flow producing companies for the very long term.
My first guest on the podcast is Trish Higgins from Chenmark Capital in Portland, ME. Chenmark Capital falls into both the micro private equity and permanent capital buckets, they acquire entire companies using their own capital. Trish and I discuss everything from capital allocation within portfolio companies, to the "Chenmark carwash", and why the small business acquisition market at the moment feels a lot like Zillow.