A Foundy Acquisition Journey: Chris West, Acquirer of Jampot

November 2023

Chris West, serial entrepreneur, joined Foundy to find a business to take to new heights and came across Jampot, an agency founded by Nikki Wheeldon.

Nikki and Chris have shared their journeys of buying and selling their business so that other entrepreneurs can learn from and be inspired by their experiences.

Here is Chris’s perspective as the acquirer of Jampot. For Nikki’s perspective, click here.

Welcome Chris, we are excited to hear about your journey to acquire your new business, Jampot. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to consider purchasing a business?

I realised quite early on that my skill set was aligned with coming into a business and adding my own touch and progressing something that already existed rather than starting something from the foundations. That was probably the biggest motivator as to why I wanted to come in and purchase a business like Jampot.

“My skill set was aligned with coming into a business and adding my own touch and progressing something that already existed rather than starting something from its foundations.”

Jampot was quite an unusual acquisition because it's been incorporated for seven years and looking at the market at present, that's really difficult to find. Most businesses are one to three years old and quite infant in their stages, but Jampot wasn't. It had been growing really steadily and it had a great backstory.

What aspects of Jampot attracted you to it as an acquisition prospect?

When the seller, Nikki, and I first met on Foundy and we were talking about the business, we aligned with each other immediately and had the same ambitions for the business. 

It just felt like a really natural exchange and transaction and that's what made Jampot such an attractive proposition from the offset.

There were quite a few opportunities that I'd considered and been in talks with prior to Jampot and I initially started looking at traditional marketplaces. They weren't a great experience from a buyer's perspective and it took a very long time to get any form of response from brokers and sellers, and it just slowed the entire process down.

What was your experience searching for and acquiring a business through Foundy?

Using Foundy was a much better experience, it was a super quick transaction and process.

I came across Foundy when I was googling brokerage sites to use and they were top-rated. 

My experience started by using the free subscription where I just wanted to get a feel for the site and make sure it aligned with my ambitions of buying a business, which it quickly did. 

I was looking every two to three weeks at every type of business listed and was reaching out to sellers. 

Foundy’s instant chat feature is a game changer in this world. 

Everyone else is via email or phone call and it takes weeks if not months, I'm still getting responses back from previous sites that I was using months ago.

I came across Jampot after about two weeks via the instant chat function and quickly the seller and I met and started our business process and transaction from that point.

Were there any elements of your experience with Foundy that you found particularly useful during your search and acquisition?

The process was brilliant, really seamless. Joe and the team were really easy to deal with.

The way it's set out on the website is far different to anything else that exists in the market, especially in the UK at the moment, it feels really fresh. I found that it was super easy to use and navigate. Being able to have contact with a seller immediately was brilliant. 

“I found that it was super easy to use and navigate. Being able to have contact with a seller immediately was brilliant.” 

You've got everything in your control and you can keep tabs on who you've made contact with, who's responded, and what stages you're at in terms of conversation. That's what sold me to carry on using Foundy as the platform I wanted to buy a business from.

What made you choose Foundy as your acquisition platform? 

It gave you all the information you needed, which sounds basic, but there are lots of websites outside of Foundy that hide EBITDA and revenue and you can't see what the business is doing at all. 

In the circumstance of Jampot, I had all the information that I needed before I even contacted the seller. It just meant that we could have a really meaningful conversation around progressing to the deal flow section. 

Also, Foundy provides templates and information that we could use to govern our way through the deal flow and the legal aspects.

One thing we both absolutely loved was the Slack channel that was created. When the deal had finally been agreed, the Foundy team put together a Slack channel with some of the Foundy team who were involved in the M&A process, as well as myself and Nikki, the seller. 

If any questions ever needed to be asked or if we needed to deal with the financing, we were able to see an answer or a question all together. I would say that we didn't utilise that channel enough because it's a great point of contact to have and it was really easy as well. 

How do you feel about acquiring your business?

I think it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It's a big investment to buy a business and I am generally really excited. Jampot has shown great growth over the last seven years for a business that's never really been advertised and it's grown organically. 

My biggest inspiration at the minute is being able to come in and get my hands on the business and really learn it and add my own stamp and hopefully take it to the heights that it can get to. 

What are your plans as the new owner of Jampot?

On the offset, I don’t want to be too invasive, as during the first six months at least, I need to really understand the nuts and bolts and get to grips with the freelancers and how the business operates before I start to really make some crucial and large changes. 

From previous learnings, I’ve seen that you can easily come into a business or environment and change everything really quickly and not take anyone on the journey with you. 

I think my role early on will be to learn and immerse myself in the business and then start to make changes as I gradually get on in the next six months. Beyond that point, it will be understanding where our growth has taken us over the next three years and how much I need to become a part of that. 

My ultimate ambition in the business is to put a team in during the next three to five years and then extract myself out so I can then go on to purchasing other businesses and acquiring.

What advice would you give to others considering purchasing a business?

For anyone who is buying businesses, there will be times when you will seriously be panicking and probably feel really nervous and question every single decision you're making. 

“There will be times when you will seriously be panicking and probably feel really nervous and question every single decision you're making.” 

If you set your mind from the offset on the path you want to take, then it's the right path and you just need to stay committed.

My biggest learning from the offset was that I'm quite impatient. I think when you decide you want to buy a business, you want it to happen really quickly and Foundy does make it happen quickly. 

This opportunity is exciting because it really aligns with my skillset and the type of business that I can really see myself overseeing, running and adding my own stamp to. 

With regard to advice, I would say make sure your business purchase aligns with your goals and you're not rushing the purchase and it will all work out in the end. 

Would you recommend Foundy to other business buyers?

I go to a lot of networking events and I feel like I'm on commission for Foundy. I'm always talking about it and naturally, people are interested in M&A. It seems to be a hot topic at the moment and when I mention to people that I've purchased a business, they're super interested in not only how that process works, but where I found it. 

“I will use Foundy again and again, providing I find the right business on the platform.”

It’s is absolutely something I'll continue to keep publicising because I've had such a great experience and personally, because I want to keep buying businesses, I will use Foundy again and again, provided I find the right business on the platform.

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