In some cases, the best plan is to keep your business despite enticing offers.
For many entrepreneurs, their business is their life. Something they live and breathe until, hopefully, the hard work pays off. Not every startup owner has been loyal to their project, with hundreds of companies being sold to bigger businesses every year. However, there are some who’ve made the brave decision to hold onto their business and reaped the benefits. Here’s a look at some of the world’s biggest business, and the offers they’ve turned down:
In 2009, Foursquare burst onto the scene as a social media assistant, combining online life with real life by allowing people to check into locations and follow the whereabouts of their friends. Even in its early days, Foursquare generated a lot of interest from companies such as Yahoo and Facebook. Both put in offers worth more than $150 million, but these were rejected by Dennis Crowley, Foursquare founder. Luckily for him, his gamble paid off. His company was valued at $317 million as of last year.
It probably comes as no surprise that somebody tried to buyout Twitter. Like Facebook, Twitter started in a college dorm, likely the product of bridging loans for initial funds. However, given their fierce rivalry now, it’s hard to imagine that it would have been Facebook who put an offer on the table. Facebook once offered a staggering $500 million for Twitter. Though this was a more than generous offer, far beyond the value of the business, Twitter turned it down. In 2013 when the company went public it was valued at $24.4 billion, so it’s safe to say they have no regrets.
Bumble was the first of its kind, a dating app where women are in control. Last year, founder Whitney Wolfe turned down an acquisition offer of $450 million from Match Group in hopes to grow the company herself. She made the right decision, as her company is now valued at more than $1 billion.
CEO and founder of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti turned down an acquisition offer from Disney. He walked away from a big buyout and took a risk on his startup business. Though the initial acquisition offer has never been disclosed, it’s safe to say it was in the millions. Things worked out well though, as Buzzfeed was recently valued at around $850 million.
Dropbox is an online sharing platform used by individuals and businesses across the globe. The company was admired with interest from Apple until they finally put forward an offer of $550 million in 2009. The offer was rejected, and today Dropbox is now valued at around $10 billion.
Shipping logistics company Flexport was founded in 2013. It now has more than 700 employees with offices across the world. The company turned down many offers worth over $1 billion. Though it’s not reached that goal yet, it’s close. Today it is valued at nearly $910 million, with no signs of slowing down thanks to further expansion. The company is predicted to disclose $500 million in revenue this year.
Once upon a time, Snapchat was the fastest growing social network. In 2013 Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for a whopping $3 billion. This offer was turned down and Snapchat decided to hold. Though it’s recently slowed down as it searches fro new revenue streams, which resulted in a loss in stock price, company founder Evan Spiegel has nothing to worry about. He’s personally valued at $2.9 billion.
As these successful business owners demonstrate, sometimes it’s best to not give into greed. It’s easy enough to accept an acquisition offer from another company, but it’s surely a hard defeat watching the buyer make millions in the future.
Written by: Paul Matthews
Paul Matthews is a Manchester-based business writer who writes in order to better inform business owners on how to run a successful business. You can usually find him at the local library or browsing Forbes’ latest pieces.