secretleaders | Photobox and Moonpig: Selling to your competitor and the art of the exit

Photobox and Moonpig: Selling to your competitor and the art of the exit

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes when one well-known start up buys another well-known start up?

Well, wonder no more.

You’ve heard us talk to both Nick Jenkins (founder of Moonpig) and Graham Hobson (founder of Photobox) in Series One. But we thought it would be fun to bring them together and have a Q&A with them, side by side.

So that’s just what we did.

Because you normally only hear the side of the story from the founder who sold their company. You rarely, if ever, hear the story from the founder who bought the company being sold. In this case the wildly successful personalised e-card company,, that sold for £120m to photo printing giants, Photobox in 2011, which then itself went onto sell for a reported £400m+.

You’re in for a treat today – you get to hear from both sides – the good, the bad and the ugly of what happens during a M&A. That and you get a bucket load of advice from two Angel investors who between them have sunk a lot of money into the next generation of start ups.

So grab a cuppa and sit down to hear not one, but two entrepreneurial powerhouses talk about how they started and how they became millionaires. Listen out, there are tips aplenty.

We chat about:

  • The 4 crap ideas that came before Moonpig
  • What happened when Nick and Graham first met
  • Selling your business to your main rival
  • Top tips on securing an exit
  • The dribble and shake theory
  • Negotiating the deal, going through M&A
  • The importance of culture integration
  • What it’s like to actually buy a company
  • The pros and cons of being a Dragon
  • The art of Angel investing


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The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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