Performance Abstract.

Jim Barnish: Tradesmith

TradeSmith puts easy-to-use, technology-based tools into the hands of individual investors and traders. 

The Challenge

A B2C fintech firm with $30 million in revenue and 30 thousand customers was poised for growth but the current company structure and strategy threatened to limit growth and diminish valuation. Factors inhibiting the company’s growth were identified, which included revenue concentration, company governance, a limiting go-to-market strategy, and misalignment between the board and management team. The company’s largest offer to buy the company came from an existing strategic investor, at a valuation not suitable to the founder.

My Role


I was responsible for identifying and executing value creation opportunities to successfully optimize capital spend, uncover additional revenue drivers and ultimately, exit the business.

The Work
  • Transforming data into insights: Reviewed all existing company data, analyzed the market and interviewed internal and external stakeholders to identify key insights and value creation opportunities.
  • Transforming insights into actionable recommendations: Compiled insights into a series of recommendations on how to maximize the value of the business going forward.
  • Growth strategy and execution: Based on the results of the VCA and the accompanying growth strategy and value creation roadmap, we identified quick-wins to execute on immediately, ultimately increasing the value of the business.
  • Revised go-to-market strategy and accompanying investment/exit strategy, including the creation of all collateral and processes.
  • Evaluated several potential investors and buyers.
The Outcome

The VCA uncovered fundamental value creation opportunities in the business (i.e., revenue enhancement, exit optionality). We executed a seven-month growth services engagement that led to a 55 percent jump in company valuation and a project ROI of four thousand percent, seven months later. As a result, the company was able to sell off a legacy business unit (to the same strategic investor that offered to buy the company previously) at a vastly increased, $36 million valuation (from $23.1 million). The company also retained core IP to use in a new company that OB is partnering with the founder on. 

TradeSmith Investment Optionality

This company illustrates the archetype of the brilliant, visionary founder that builds a product, and then a company, as large as he possibly can. But like most great founders, he eventually hit a wall and needed to bring on a growth partner to continue an upward trajectory. Our team was the perfect complement to help take the business to the next level, increase the value of the business, and exit. Now, we get to help this accomplished founder create a new company, leveraging existing IP to fulfill his long-term vision.

––Jim Barnish, Consultant