SEG M&A Stories: Alex Gile, Co-Founder & Former President of Nexternal

Alex Gile is the Co-Founder & Former President of Nexternal, a leading provider of an omni-channel commerce platform serving manufacturers, distributors and retailers. In May of 2015, SEG advised on the sale of Nexternal to Accel-KKR backed HighJump / TrueCommerce. Alex is now a Senior Vice President at TrueCommerce and helps manage the Nexternal team.

SEG M&A Stories are a unique way to gain insight into the M&A process from former SEG clients. In this story, Alex shares his experience working with SEG to sell his software company and the benefits of having an advisor to guide him through the process:

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Video Highlights:

“I’m so grateful I got together with Software Equity Group and was able to have them by my side throughout the process. The opportunities they provided to us, the amount I learned about my own business, and the mentoring were really invaluable and worth every dime.”

What is Nexternal?

Nexternal is an ecommerce platform provider that enables manufacturers, distributors, retailers to sell online either directly to consumers or to other businesses.

Based in Carlsbad, California, Nexternal’s platform includes a functionally rich order management system that captures both business-to-business and business-to-consumer orders, via standard and mobile web browsers. Going beyond traditional eCommerce, companies use Nexternal’s commerce platform to run call centers, generate and manage subscription orders, retrieve Amazon marketplace orders, create club orders and receive orders from other systems via its API. The system acts as the single hub for all pricing, promotions, status and customer care related to the order management lifecycle.

Why did you decide to sell?

At the time in 2015, there were lot more competitors in the space than there were in 1999, and a lot of competitors were starting to raise substantial amounts of money. I was looking around at the space and seeing what people were paying to acquire customers. As a small, profitable company, it was becoming increasingly tough to compete against these companies that have raised $75M to $100M+ dollars, so I decided I needed to either raise a lot of money to compete or sell to a bigger company where we could sell our software into their client base. So, I decided to do the latter, and shortly thereafter we engaged Software Equity Group to help us through the process.

What are some benefits to working with an advisor?

Working with an advisor gives you a lot more opportunities that you would otherwise not have. We were able to give demos to some really big-name software companies and get them interested in our company. I am quite confident had I done everything on my own, that would not have been the case.

Another big benefit to working with an advisor is that they coach you along the way and help you think through positioning and how you want to present your company to potential buyers. When you’re running a company and heads down and working in a very myopic world, it’s sometimes tough to take a step back and see the bigger picture. SEG was able to look at the bigger picture and help us position Nexternal to make it attractive.

Want more SEG M&A Stories? Check out our last video featuring David Durik of Indatus