Mike Evans raised $84M for his first startup, GrubHub, before taking it public. He’s now working on a new gender-inclusive venture that is creating jobs at a great scale. The company, Fixer, has acquired funding from top-tier investors like New Stack Ventures, Impact Engine, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Founder Collective.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Going through the IPO process
- The vision of Fixer
- Mike Evan’s top advice when starting a business
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For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
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Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
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About Mike Evans:
Mike Evans is building a new company, Fixer. It is a “right now” handyman service. Using the company website, anyone in Chicago can book a fixer in minutes for whatever time is convenient for them. The fixers are full-time employees with benefits, as the company is committed to creating a career path alternative to the “gig” economy.
Before Fixer, Mike Evans went to MIT, where he graduated with a pile of degrees and an equally impressive pile of debt. After that adventure, he co-founded GrubHub because he was frustrated with futilely searching for delivery restaurants and grumbling through inaccurate orders.
Mike wrote version one of GrubHub.com in 2004, then armed with a “Sales for Dummies” book, he bootstrapped the business for two years. From there, he lead GrubHub through 5 financing rounds, a couple of acquisitions, a merger, and ultimately an IPO.
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Connect with Mike Evans:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So today. We have ah a really exciting founder. You know we have a founder that you know actually. Is responsible for building a company that day I mean I’ve used many many many times you know I’m sure that many of you guys, you know and gals you know have also used you know his previous company but I find that you know his journey you know is remarkable, very inspiring and I’m sure that you’re all going to find. You know, a lot of things that you could apply to your own journey from what you’re gonna be learning so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today Mike Evans welcome to the show. So originally, you know you grew up in Georgia but give us ah walk through memory lane. How was life growing up Mike.
Mike Evans: Hi Thanks for having me really appreciate it.
Mike Evans: I mean life was good. You know it was grew up in Georgia I was single mom four kids always wanted to um was always trying to do something entrepreneurial I had ah you know I had a lawn mowing business when I was 13 and ah and then eventually ended up going to mit where I learned to write software which I used. To write that first version of grubub ah I mean video games obviously like guys. Not I think that’s how a lot of people start with software. Ah yeah I played a lot of ah civilization and and other games when I was a kid.
Alejandro Cremades: And what what cut you into the into computers Mike.
Mike Evans: And always wanted to write software was interested in robotics. Um, and so that’s what I went to mit to do and then I I learned a little bit about what to code and how to code while I was there. Um and then kind of knew I wanted to launch another business after that.
Alejandro Cremades: But you did a little bit of the corporate. The corporate world. So You know at what point you know would you say the the idea of Growup you know comes to you and what was because as they say you know I asked they take time to incubate they’re there. We don’t even know that they’re there but eventually you know there’s certain you know. Events that happen that push you over the edge. So So what was that process like for you.
Mike Evans: Yeah, so I was working at a company called classified ventures within 2002 and that’s one of the early internet mainstays. It was one of the companies that they were trying to make it possible to put classified ads online for cars and homes and things like that. And it was ah it was a company owned by a bunch of newspapers and so I was working there for about 2 years it was super valuable to be in in I think of it as corporate America it was. It was only 400 people of the company. It wasn’t a huge company and but I learned a lot about um I had a great manager learned a lot about how to manage. I learned a lot about how ah hr is typically in most organizations. Ah hr is there to protect the company not help employees and a few other things you know that I wanted to take with me as I started something pretty quickly in that journey pretty early on I was like I need to find something I need to find some idea to go start a company because. Um, I don’t really like working for other people. Ah the idea of grobhub. Um I I basically it was hard to order a pizza like you you had to go on the yellow pages they were listed alphabetically get a call on the phone get put on hold. Um I talked. Over that idea with a coworker of mine Matt who ended up being becoming my cofounder and then I also talked about it with my boss and a couple other people and and then I started it one night I I talk about this in hangary my memoir you know I was on the bus on the way home. It was I was didn’t want to cook. It was like ah it was a nasty cold night.
Mike Evans: Was tired I didn’t want to cook and so I wrote version one after a long nasty commute and it was just a hobby. It was a hobby for like a year ah it was a delivery guide where you could see the restaurants that delivered to you just in Chicago just on the north side of Chicago not anywhere else I would I would call restaurants and get their information and upload their menus. Ah, the the actual ah scan of their physical menus to not like type them in and so it was a hobby and it started to get a little bit of traffic and then then ah my business partner Matt um, he sold a restaurant on the idea of advertising and then like a week later I I quit my job at point point forward full time which was a terrible decision. Ah, but it worked out everybody around me agreed it was a terrible decision. But ah I went for it and then um, yeah, it was why did it take two years year and a it was like year and a half um video games again I was playing a lot of Xbox so ah.
Alejandro Cremades: But it was 2 years Mike so why did it take 2 years yeah why didn’t you a year and a half.
Mike Evans: You know I mean it was a hobby at first I was 2024 years old and not super motivated to do something um and then I just kept getting more and more frustrated with working at a company and more and more interested in in the thing I had created started to think it had legs. Um. And so I you know I was I was just working on weekends every once in a while I get distracted by like music festivals or whatever and hiking trips or whatever and then at some point I was like you know what I should do this like this thing’s got legs I should do it? Um, and so then then it was very quick then it went from that to full time. No safety net might you know we had 250 grand in debt between my wife and I she didn’t have a job coming out of law school and um and I went for it and ah and it worked like you know that first few months it was really hard to figure out how to do sales. but um but I got a selling for Dummy’s book and. Started reading how to do sales and finally figured it out and started selling signing up restaurants and um, you know I I was able to pay myself a salary pretty quickly in those first few months and so then I ran the business for from 2004 full time I ran the business from 2004 to 2007 before we took our first financing we got up to 5 employees and. Just about 600,000 in revenue before we took our first financing.
Alejandro Cremades: So let’s talk about 2 for the people that are listening together. What ended up being the business model of grub hub how how were you guys making money.
Mike Evans: So it started as just ah, a neighborhood delivery guide where people paid for advertising so they’d show up at the top of ah of a listing and that was a pain in the neck like it. It was really hard so I got about 100 restaurants signed up on that model and I realized I needed to sign up another one hundred restaurants. To double the revenue with the business and and it was hard. It was a slog going out there and getting restaurants and so ah, my my partner Matt had this idea that maybe we could charge on a per order basis and so I ended up building writing the software similars I wrote software that’s similar to what twilio does now which is ah. Wrote a a communication platform where people like a phone a phone server where people could I could put a special phone number for a restaurant customers could call in I’d forward the call to the restaurant and then I’d just do a transaction per order. It took about another year before I realized. Phone orders were the not the way to go like I need to do online orders and so um and so I switched over to online orders and then the company really started growing at that point.
Alejandro Cremades: And at what point do you do you realize? hey I think that we’re we’re turning a corner here I think that we’re into something.
Mike Evans: Yeah I mean it was. You know it was profitable from day one because it was bootstrapped so I ran it for from 2004 to 2007 without any cash in and we were we were doubling. You know by the time I got to do the seven. We had 600 k in revenue and it looked like we were going to double every year for a while but we thought we could accelerate that with some financing and and so we took financing launched ah we launched 4 cities on our first financing we took a million dollars and launched 4 cities for additional cities in addition to Chicago. And we took another $2000000 in financing a year later and we launched the Eleven Eleven cities and so we got into 14 cities on $3000000 of financing got back to profitability very quickly and were growing very fast and at that point I was able to pay off my student loans that had you know that I had that I quit the job to do and I was like oh I think I overshot like this thing’s gonna be a lot bigger than just paying off my student loans. Um, and it it even at that point it started to become pretty clear that we were going to grow big enough to be able to have an ipo provided we could. There was a lot of competition.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, that’s amazing. So.
Alejandro Cremades: Now now now and also in your case I mean as as we’re talking about you know, especially that the financing side of things when you went out there to get money.
Mike Evans: Um, provided we could stay ahead of the competition we were going to find.
Alejandro Cremades: I guess the first question is at what point do you realize because I mean you’re bootstrapping this. You know you’re making money why in first place take money at what point you know that’s that become you know clear that that’s the route to follow and how is that shift you know that you had from just going. You know to get money and then you know you ended up getting a strategic partner son. You ended up you know, like wow you know I was thinking it in a different way and I’m glad it turned out the way it did.
Mike Evans: Yeah, the the thing that made me realize we needed to get financing that that first million dollars was um, we I tried to launch San Francisco the market yeah we started in Chicago and I tried to launch San Francisco the San Francisco market with Grubhub and it was a failure. Um. I didn’t have enough cash to to spend on advertising to start acquiring consumers who were actually using the traffic and and I didn’t need it the first time around because it was a hobby for a year and I built a lot of Seo value so people were I got traffic on the website just by simmering the business for a year without any financing. But that wasn’t going to work for expansion markets and so I know and and knew I needed a little bit of money now the fact that we were already profitable when I took money means I didn’t need a lot of money I just needed expansion capital and ah. And so we were looking for cash and it took forever. It took over a year to find we want ah we won ah the university of chicago’s business plan competition in two thousand and six two years after the business had been started and even then with all those introductions it took a year to close our first financing and I had a mentor Chuck Templeton who was the founder of opentable. And he told me you know the the thing that you want most out of a out of investor is not the cash. It’s like the sixth most important thing because everybody’s got cash. All investors have cash. They’re not differentiated by the fact that they have cash. So what you want to look for is somebody who’s strategic.
Mike Evans: Somebody who some combination of of the following 5 things. They don’t have to have all 5 but they have to have a couple of them. They have to be really good strategic thinkers they have to have some sort of domain expertise. Whether that’s technology or product or marketing or sales they have to have connections so that they can make introductions to potential employees and partnerships. Um. You have to have similar belief systems to them like you have to have share values and so you talked about all these things and at the time I was like yeah, whatever man like I just want the catch like come on. Ah but he was right? It actually turned out to be the case that the the reason grubhub was. Successful was we had a very thoughtful strategic board that helped point out our blind spots. Ah that point out my blind spots and tell me where I was wrong about things. Um, and that was really valuable. It helped me make better decisions. It helped me grow and helped me learn and I talk about this in the book that that. Chuck challenged me and he said if you if you just you’ve already got a profitable business. You could just grow this for the next ten years you’ll be rich You’ll be fine you don’t have to do anything else. But if you want to grow if you want to stretch yourself if you like get a board of directors that you have to report to and learn from them and that sounded really appealing to me even though. Kind of just wanted the cash and it turned out to be true. It turned out to be so true that the second time around when I so when I found a fixer my current business which is a premium handy person service. Um I ended up taking financing even though I could have just financed the whole business myself from the proceeds of the grohove ipo.
Mike Evans: Because I wanted to have a strategic board that pointed out my blind spots again and so um, so that was the thing I learned to the first time around is that you you don’t take money for the money you take money for the expertise and in fact, I even talk about this with one of my investors I’m taking money from you so that you can work for me for free. Ah because. I have to pay everybody else for their advice. But once you put cash into my business. You have to give me your advice and I don’t have to pay you for it. so um so I’m I’m gonna make you work for free and I and I do I put my board to work I I assign them jobs I sign them tasks. Um. They they do thought and you know they met I sign the mentorship responsibilities within my team sometimes um so I take that really seriously and and I think some of my investors have been like I didn’t realize how hard he’s gonna make me work.
Alejandro Cremades: So so I guess you know that’s an interesting point because you know there’s a lot of people that are probably listening and and wondering how they’re going to be structuring their own board and what happens when you know they take money from some of those say you know tier you know one you know funds and things like that. What are what would you say are the. You know, maybe like 3 key ingredients of an effective board and the dynamics that need to go with it.
Mike Evans: So every person on the board should be good at something and they should and each person should be good at something different from the other people on the board I’m talking about the non-employ members of the board. So if you have somebody who was a consultant and then an investment banker and then an investor stay away. Those are not good investors you want somebody who ran a company who who is good at something not everybody on the board has to be the way but a number of people have to be good at marketing or sales or product or partnerships or something because. It’s it’s really easy to have and a quote unquote expert opinion from a place of no experience and um and I really appreciate it when when there’s there’s domain expertise at the board level. Um, and it’s really nice when people have different expertise because they bring a diversity of opinions. Um, you know another thing that’s really important is values alignment so we have core values at our company. We talk about them a lot. We put them in the first page of every um, every powerpoint presentation every every meeting we talk about them all the time and I make sure that the investors agree with them now. Every investor will say they agree with your core values. They just say yes, it’s just like a check the box thing but but you got to dive deeper than that and really ask tough questions about when they’ve made tradeoffs and when they’ve had to sacrifice values and things like that. Um another question I always ask investors and and is how do you.
Mike Evans: How are you differentiated from your competition and investors most of them like 52% like just barely most of them really like it when you ask them that question and then the other half gets offended like how dare you ask me how I differentiate. But they’re asking that question of you as a company so they should be willing to answer it if they can’t take their own Medicine. You don’t want them on their board earboard and so some of these tests are subtly testing for how Arrogant investors are and how how quick they can think on their feet and how um, how like how much they can learn. And those are all really important characteristics of a board member The same thing questions they’re asking you. You should be asking them and if they say something like Well. We’re really founder friendly and um, we’re all operators be aware that every firm says that every single one. So you have to test it you have to like you have to find out if it’s actually true.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, no kidding now now. 1 question here is prior to the Ipo. You guys had raised a bunch of money. So question here is how much money. Do you guys raise in total prior to the ipo and what was that experience of going from 1 financing cycle to the next. And how did those expectations from investors also vary.
Mike Evans: Yeah, we did something a little bit unique that a lot of companies. Don’t do we. We were profitable prior to every single financing so we we take the money and then we grow so fast that we were profitable again and so each time we had a lot of control over the conversations. Ah, because we didn’t need the money we could keep growing at a given rate and but we found opportunities to use the money to grow faster and so we raised $1000000 and $2000000 then the next fundraising we raised was from benchmark and that was $11000000 and um. That enables us to really expand from 14 markets to 50 another thing that happened is right after we raised the the the 11000000 from benchmark we raised an additional $20000000 of follow on from ah a partner front that they worked with sometimes and and by I mean. Just after I mean like ten days after we closed the $11000000 fund we raised we closed another $20000000 in financing. We never used the money our bank account never dropped below $20000000 because we kept we kept getting to profitability really quickly and so um, in some sense. It was. Unnecessary dilution. Um, but in some other sense. It was really nice to have the um the the the safety net like if if things go wrong if if we have a at the time we didn’t have a pandemic but you know we had the housing crisis. You know we were able.
Mike Evans: We were gonna be able to weather that storm now it turns out the housing crisis didn’t hurt grow of it actually accelerated the business because people stopped going out for food and they started ordering delivery food and marketing got very cheap and so we were actually to grow able to grow through the housing crisis and then we raised another $50000000 from ah to. To acquire a competitor and so that money you know came into the company and immediately went right back out to buy that to buy a competitor. We bought campus food and that got us into 350 markets. So in total we raised $84,000,000 over the course of from 2007 to 2012? Um, but we. You know we aside from the $50000000 that we spent on on campus food. Um, we really only ever spent 1414 of that million of that to grow the company um which is pretty capital efficient I think a lot of companies raise a lot more money prior to an ipo. But um. And so our investors were pretty happy when we went through the ipo because there hadn’t been a ton of dilution for for the early investors.
Alejandro Cremades: You know, kidding now now at what point does the ah merger of seamless come about because I believe it was prior to the ipo and how did that come about and and why did it make sense to go with that.
Mike Evans: Yeah, so we um, we were in the process of going through the I mentioned this in Hungary in the memoir. You know we were process we were in the process of um.
Mike Evans: Getting ready for the ipo so we went through the entire thing we you know we did the bakeoff we bought we we hired an investment firm. We went through all the legal work we went through the scc comment period. We got all the way to the point where we were ready to file the s 1 now in 2012 you so you couldn’t file the s one digitally. Literally had to take the take this 300 page document and drop it off at the scc in New York city and so we had been in discussions with seamless about a merger um and because because there was this challenge that we had. We were really big in the rest of the United States but they were very big in Manhattan and Manhattan is where all the investment bankers are and so all the investment bankers using seamless instead of Grubhub was going to be a problem for the grubhub ipo but we were ready to do it anyway and it really ah, we were negotiating with with seamless for several months couple months and it came down to the day of our filing. We literally had a lawyer sitting in a car across from the scc as we were working out the final details with seamless for a merger which by the way you know the concept of a batna the best a great. Ah best ah alternative to a negotiated agreement. Um. Getting ready to file like being a couple minutes away from filing your ipo is a really good alternative to making a teal and so we were able to get the terms that we wanted going into that merger and then we had to scrap the ipo and we we spent a year um we spent a year doing the merger before going through the eventual Ipo we did in 2014.
Mike Evans: And the first time around I was you know I was the cofounder of the company but the second time around I knew I was gonna actually be leaving after the company went public. So in 2012 I had planned on staying but in 2014 that had changed and I decided it was time for me to move on and so the first time around I was in the driver seat and the second second time around I was still an important player but I was more of a like. Passenger than in the driver’s seat and it was really interesting seeing the experience from both perspectives and going through it twice with the same with with the same investment banks though.
Alejandro Cremades: And and what was what was going through your head when all of a sudden you’re finding yourself ringing the Bell companies public you know and all those years of work. You know that effort you know what? what was going through your head.
Mike Evans: Um, so we expected the price of the of the stock to be like $12 maybe $14 and the opening trade was 46 ah and so I what with oh shit was through my head like I cannot believe.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow.
Alejandro Cremades: No okay.
Mike Evans: How much more money I just made than I thought I was going to make like it was it was insane. Ah and I actually almost said it out loud. But Mike Saunders who is the co-founder who was the founder of campus food was on the floor of the New York Stock exchange with me. And he like looks at me with these wide eyes and like puts a hand over his mouth because there’s like 3 reporters with like with the with the ah the tape recorders like in my face and I almost I almost just lost my mind when I saw the price come up which wouldn’t have been like good pr for sure. Um, but like yeah I mean it was.
Alejandro Cremades: Errochetic.
Mike Evans: It was um I mean I said this in the book. It was like that moment in Mario Brothers when you get the hundred coins and you get the extra life I was like this like my life just changed I can literally like go buy an island this is insane I cannot believe what just happened um and then you know quickly after that the next thought was. So what now like that kind of wealth has an obligation associated with it like to make the world a better place and so um, a couple years later. That’s when I found a fixer which is ah a b corp and impact- oriented business and and I didn’t buy an island I’m instead trying to create an entry path into the trades. In a gender inclusive way.
Alejandro Cremades: So then let let’s let’s talk about that. Ah, but before doing that you know when you leave grub hub you know you actually took 2 years off what did you do for 2 years
Mike Evans: So the first three months I rode a bike I I rode a bike from Virginia to Oregon um, just at ten miles per hour ah saw the entire United States went through the rockies um made a bunch of friends. I camped along the way I didn’t even stay in hotels I had like ah a tent on the back of my bike. Um, it was a really strong contrast like rolling into ah into a small town in the United States and getting a peanut butter jelly sandwich from the church that’s handing them out is a big difference for being on a private jet. Provided by an investment bank with steak tart tar and like shrimp cocktail like there is a that is a strong contrast and I think it was good for me I think it kept me grounded in a way that it’s hard to do after after and ah a life changinging event like I had I hope it did and then and then shortly after that um, ah.
Alejandro Cremades: Um, right.
Mike Evans: My daughter was born and so I spent 2 years at home with her before starting the next business.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow! Amazing. So Then let’s talk about fixer. You know why fixer I mean obviously see I’m sure that during those 2 years you got plenty of ideas you know plenty of people that you met along the way you know plenty of problems that you saw that needed. You know a solution. Why fix her and how was you know that process of of bringing it to life.
Mike Evans: Yeah I really wanted to start a business that was so first of all 36 is too young to retire I was like I actually had a doctor say to me, you don’t you don’t have to get another job but you’ll die young I was like what doc he’s like. You’re going to get depressed and feel useless and die young like you’ll you’ll become an alcoholic like you need to work because you have way too much energy. Ah so go like go start another business literally a doctor said that to me and I think he was right? Um, and so I was thinking about what I wanted to do next.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow.
Mike Evans: And I had built a big consumer brand right? like Gru ah millions of people use growhub and so I knew I wanted to do something similar I wanted to build a big consumer brand where we’re solving a problem for cost for individual customers like not b two b not ai not big data. You know. Not blockchain none of those things I wanted something where like I made a a had a physical product of some kind a product or a service of some kind that like customers use in their homes and as I was looking or and the other thing that I really wanted is I wanted a business where the social impact the positive social impact that we create. And the competitive differentiator were the same thing and so I settled on this idea of a premium handy person service where we where we train people from scratch to be full-time employees because the competitive differentiator is we have a supply of workers that nobody else has access to and they’re super high quality right? You can’t. Nobody else has those workers. We trained them from scratch and they are full-time employees and the social benefit is. We’re creating an entry path into the trades. Ah, that’s really easily accessible and because we train people from scratch to be handy people and so in an environment where it’s harder and harder to find Tradespeople. We have sufficient supply. And so customers. Love it in the home because we show up and we know what we’re doing and we clean up after ourselves and we get things fixed and we’ll do a 2 hour job and and you didn’t have to call us on the phone like you could literally just use our app to to schedule us to show up right? So it’s a modern day consumer experience and the employees love it because.
Mike Evans: Um, there’s a lot of economic mobility. You know you go from working at Target at $15 an hour to making 65 $70000 a year by your second year as a handy person and and like it’s a high growth ah eventually will be a high high margin business. Um. It’s very complex. So like everything I just described the training program and the scheduling system and the dispatch system and hiring and consumer acquisition. All of that is a royal pain in the neck and that’s what I wanted I wanted a hard hard business. So that as we got to scale and people tried to copycat us. It was just they had a lot of work to do to catch up to where we were um, you know obviously Grubhub has a lot of competition now and part of the reason was um, there wasn’t a ton of barriers to entry to getting into online ordering and delivery and I wanted a business where there were bigger barriers to entry so all those things came together. And I launched this business race financing um from some of the investors that I knew from you know, ah grub hub and postgrob hub days when I was on a couple boards and then we are off we are off to the races by the way starting a business where you go into people’s homes to fix things 2 years before a pandemic starts.
Alejandro Cremades: Um, nice.
Mike Evans: Ah, is not great timing. So you know in March of 2020 you know our revenue dropped by 85% because we we do work in people’s homes and so navigating that has been a whole other thing over the lot and now it’s back to back to high growth again, but for a couple years there holy smokes this business is a pain in the neck.
Alejandro Cremades: Now No kidding now what is it like for example for a business like this one you know which is ah impact oriented business to raise money in a challenging macro. You know, economic environment like the one we have now.
Mike Evans: Yeah, one of what I was worried about was that the fact that’s it’s impact oriented right? We we care as much about our stakeholders as we do about our shareholders. We care about the workers that are working for us. To the same degree. We care about shareholders and that’s even in our corporate documents which is a super weird corporate structure and I thought that that was going to be a huge barrier to raising financing and ah at first we we you know we raised? Um I guess we raised around $14000000 it was not a problem. No big deal. But then yeah we needed. Ah we needed a bridge loan to just make it to profitability which is what we’re doing right now and so I was gonna raise another another chunk of cash and it turns out that the impact orientation wasn’t the problem the problem is Silicon Valley is terrified of w 2 employees like just terrified. Of full-time workers um almost every single investor was like well why aren’t you doing with this with a gig economy and I’m like there aren’t enough people to do the work if we’re going to invest in training people. We want to retain them. We don’t want them to just go work for somebody else and so a w 2 employee structure. Is necessary in an environment where supply is shrinking and they all like all of them agreed with me and they’re like good luck finding money from someone else. So it’s been really really challenging to raise financing for this business model. We did do it. We were able to make it happen. But um.
Mike Evans: Man I had a lock as as my friend Chuck says I had to I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found a prince.
Alejandro Cremades: And and and why did you decide to choose the investors that you chose you know for this you know, initiative now with fixer because you know obviously as you mentioned you know you could have financed this by yourself. Ah, but they also you know as ah. Super successfully exited Founder. You could have gotten any investor that you wanted you know as well. So Why did you go with the investors that you went with.
Mike Evans: I went with the ones who understood the vision of what I was trying to accomplish and cared about the social impact in addition to a financial return and I think you’re finding this more and more with investors who are successful. Um. They make a bunch of money and then they say now what and a lot of them in Silicon Valley have said okay, well I need to I want to start investing in healthcare so that I can can help change the healthcare outcomes in the United States or I want to invest in businesses or nonprofits to do climate change and so finding investors that care about. Um. You know, access to the trades and the number of people who can get into the trades in the United States um it wasn’t very hard to find people who were aligned with that concept and who likes the idea of a double bottom line business. There’s a lot more interest in that than I would have thought um I did encounter a couple of investors. Who who think just basically called me naive just said that like ah you know you know that’s cute and all but we’re here to make money and we don’t care about. We don’t care about anything else. We don’t care about the environment or future climate change or anything like that. Um. And I actually really like that I made this point I have this pointy opinion that you have to care because you don’t want that person on you. You don’t want that misalignment on your board and so um, I’ve appreciated the ones who have told me to go pound salt because um, because I wouldn’t want them on the board. Anyway.
Mike Evans: And so that it’s been a mutual selection process as I’ve done through it.
Alejandro Cremades: I love that now you were talking about vision. So let’s just stay you know dig deep into that you know if you were to go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world. Let’s say five years later where the vision is fully realized for fixer. What does that world look like.
Mike Evans: We are trying to reboot trade education in the United States and so we’ll be at a point where we have 40000 employees and 10000 of them will graduate to go on to become electricians or plumbers or roofers or crane operators. And 10000 new entry level folks will come in the door and we’ll train them and get them reps in people’s homes doing work high quality quality controlled with mentorship and ah, it’ll just be a revolving door where we are increasing the number of people who are entering the traits and as we do it. We’re gonna be doing I mean we’ve done 40000 jobs in people’s homes. At this point you know we’re gonna be doing at that scale. We’re gonna be doing million jobs a year in people’s homes fixing things which um is its own benefit because you know if you can get if you can fix your hvac system instead of instead of replacing it. That’s both good for you economically and it’s good for the environment to not just. Throw away things that can be repaired and get new stuff and so um, you know, ideally what we’re doing is we’re creating sort of an ecosystem of sustainability. Ah, and it’s profitable and the people involved the shareholders involved are also getting financial return as we do it.
Alejandro Cremades: I love it now. Mike imagine I put you into a time machine. You know we see now we’re thinking about the future. You know as we were talking about. You know the vision now. Let’s talk about the past imagine I was able to put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time where. You know, perhaps you know there’s that moment where you were at classified ventures you know, figuring out, you know what will be that next thing or or that company that you would build imagine if you were able to go back in time and have a chat with your younger self. And you were able to give your younger self one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.
Mike Evans: I would say to my younger self to think about the impact that your business has in the communities that it operates earlier. Don’t don’t wait until you achieve the goal of paying off your student loans before. You know I and I mentioned this in the book that I go through this process of adopting a new goal which is to level the playing field for independent restaurants versus big change if I had started with that vision. The company grubhub would have been both a more successful and b more resistant to competition after I went through the Ipo and. And it would have it would have made the world. Ah, an incrementally better place than it did during my time there and so I would just say that to my younger self is think and I’ll say that to other other people who are thinking about starting businesses think about businesses have huge impacts on the environments around them. They’re huge levers for social change. Whether or not you want them to be so be intentional about what that change is going to be be thoughtful about it early in the process.
Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing Mike thank you so much for sharing that very profound. So for the people that are listening. You know that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
Mike Evans: Ah, you can check out my website Mike Evans Dot Com and there’s links on there to buy angry the the memoir I wrote where I talk about just the personal It’s really about the personal emotional journey of starting something from scratch and seeing it go all the way through the ipo there’s ups and downs in it and I think it’s pretty fun. Read. Um, and so you can find the links to buy the book on there as well or get in contact with me and Mike Evans Dot Com
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well hey Mike thank you so so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been ah, an honor to have you with us. Really.
Mike Evans: Yeah, thanks for having me I Really appreciate it.
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