Necessity is the mother of invention.

Sometimes, the most challenging aspect is finding what exactly that necessity is. When that necessity is brought to fruition by innovative minds, it is then brought to the attention of industry leaders.

This, more or less, is the prototypical pattern of success for small companies and startups that go from the minors to majors overnight.

Below are three examples of former startups who were acquired by industry behemoths, against all odds.

Dollar Shave Club, Acquired by Unilever

Dollar Shave Club is as much of a phenomenon as its YouTube channel implies. Amassing up to 23 million views on their most popular video (comprising one of five videos they have eclipsing the million-view-mark), they've clearly established a marketing brand that resonates with the general public.

Not only that, they offer something almost all men need, and made an affordable product to go with the hard-hitting marketing pitch. To say the least, it has paid off major dividends.

On July 19th, it was known to the public that Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club for one billion dollars. This relatively unprecedented acquisition came a few years after a simple conversation between two young, frustrated guys at a party, co-founders Mike Dubin and Mark Levine. This conversation was the first domino to fall, turning a dollar idea into a billion dollar reimbursement.

Sekindo, Acquired by Universal McCann

Sekindo is an adtech platform established in 2007 by three engineering entrepreneurs. They specialize in online video, mobile and display advertising, on both the publisher and advertiser sides. Their main focus is transparency between all sides of the campaigns.

In 2012, Sekindo was bought by Universal McCann, one of the biggest and most well-known global media companies. The merge was beneficial on both sides: Sekindo had the proprietary technology, paired with Universal McCann's industrial-international power, networks and experience.

Since the merge in 2012, Sekindo became an international company with a solid presence. The company has grown from six employees at the merge, to over sixty today, and from a revenue cycle of several millions, to a company with a cycle of much more.

MyRoll, Acquired by AVG

If you haven't already heard of MyRoll, then your phone is probably running out of storage. The company found that people use up massive amounts of storage space on their smartphones by taking pictures and videos they never delete -- we like preserving memories.

Using that fact alone, they developed an app that maximizes storage efficiency with your photos and videos by using what some describe as "textual and behavioral analysis" to gauge which photos are most important and/or valuable to you. The small notion of maximizing storage efficiency translated itself into a huge business opportunity for Flavr, MyRoll's other company.

After beginning their campaign in 2012, raising around $2.5 million from investors, the MyRoll blog announced in November 2015 that they were officially being acquired by AVG Technologies, an Amsterdam-based cybersecurity group, to the tune of around $5 million, according to some reports.

MyRoll staff was, as one could imagine anyone getting five million bucks, ecstatic about the transition, saying they were "super excited" about their acquisition. This little observation turned itself into a major payday for MyRoll's thought leaders.

Anybody can make an investment into a business, but it takes the necessity of one's idea to turn it into a major bank transaction.

Sekindo, MyRoll and Dollar Shave Club are merely reflections of good ideas backed by dedication, combined with good timing, which ultimately allowed their business plans to ride the wave of success.

Published on: Jan 18, 2017
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