René Rechtman is a true serial entrepreneur, who has been involved with multiple exits. His current company, Moonbug has raised an incredible $145M Series A to bring children’s entertainment to the masses.
René and I recently did an episode of the DealMakers Podcast together. He talked about growing international companies, how he got started in entrepreneurship, fundraising, and the most important business lessons he’s learned on the journey.
From Copenhagen to the C Suite
René Rechtman has been involved in a lot of exciting and really big transactions. Yet, he started out in life in the small country of Denmark.
He was born in Copenhagen, but quickly realized he would have to look further afield to achieve his big dreams.
René’s parents were pushing him to become a doctor. The culture was either to shoot for being a doctor or lawyer. That wasn’t really something he aspired to. Although he did tell them he was pursuing a Ph.D. to make them happy, even though it was actually in business.
He started out interested in political science, macroeconomics, and diplomacy. During his master’s studies, he tried out working as a trainee in the European Commission and quickly figured out it wasn’t for him. It was too cold, political and bureaucratic. His first real job was working under the COO for the national Danish TV broadcaster.
Then it was onto a PR company. It was a completely different experience. It was a boutique firm, with a team of less than a dozen. Yet, they were landing big international clients. It was much more like a startup.
René continued down this path with a consulting firm built with executives from Body Shop, which ended up being bought by KPMG in an acquihire deal.
That was a wake-up call to the possibility of being able to build something and then draw even bigger buyers because you are taking their customers or your products are more advanced than theirs.
René then gained the advantage of working on the other side of the table for a private equity company. He got to see the world from the perspective of buying companies and investing and trying to integrate them.
There he learned a lot about the challenges of distance and understanding the culture of new markets, as well as the importance of understanding the people on the frontlines of these companies.
M&A, Media & The Making Of A Great Startup Businesses
René has since gone on to be involved in a string of successful startups with significant exits and various cofounders. The first was taken to an IPO, with a cofounder that went on to create Spotify.
It was at least the second-largest startup exit in Europe at that time.
Next, it was selling a digital media company to AOL for $100M.
Then onto studio CMS startup Maker Studios. A little company that gained 380 million subscribers, and amassed 5.5 billion monthly views. Disney found them and bought Maker Studios for $675M.
Anyone of these ventures would be the lifetime dream of many entrepreneurs. Yet, René has done it again and again.
He isn’t done yet either. One the way he has clearly demonstrated talent in picking cofounders and winning business ideas.
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