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M&A in the World of Human Performance and Endurance Sport

 

My guest today is Matt Johnson, Founder of TheFeed.com. The Feed is THE eCommerce marketplace for endurance athletes’ nutrition needs before, during, and after their workout, big race, or event.  

Matt Johnson’s journey to founding The Feed started when he was President of the Tour de France Team at Slipstream Sports. He is also an avid ski racer, has won a dozen Master’s World Cup races, and a few years ago was Master’s SG World Champion. Matt saw how better nutrition was giving Tour de France riders a huge advantage in their training (getting more out of every workout) and in competition (performing stronger in the last 20% of the race or the last week of a 3-week stage race), and the concept of The Feed marketplace was born.

The Feed was built for athletes, by athletes, to share how the right nutrition at the right time can instantly improve your performance, get you more out of each workout, and increase your enjoyment of training and racing. But one size doesn’t fit all. The Feed builds you a personal Feed (from over 150 top nutrition brands (like SwissRX, Maurten, and Clif) that will work for you and your sport, your diet, your flavor preferences, and your training goals. 

I speak with Matt about his personal journey – from selling college textbooks online in the mid-90s, to leading Tour de France teams, to founding The Feed and how it has evolved. Currently, The Feed is scaling up 60-70% every year, they are exploring different brand acquisitions, building robotics to increase speed and capacity in their Boulder, CO warehouse, and creating a successful business that eventually will be ready for a great exit strategy when the time is right.

This podcast is brought to you by Axial, (www.axial.net), a trusted online platform for business owners & their M&A advisors to use to safely and intelligently explore and execute capital raises, acquisitions, and exits with strategic buyers or professional financial sponsors. I am your host, Peter Lehrman, Founder and CEO of Axial. In every episode, we will explore the vast world of small business M&A. We will interview both the proven and emerging owners, operators, investors, and advisors whose strategies and methods have been put to the test. 

If you have enjoyed this episode, check out Axial.com for more. There are recorded Axial member roundtables, downloadable tools for dealmakers, quarterly lead-table rankings, and lots of other useful information. To join Axial as an acquirer, an owner considering an exit, or as a sales-side M&A advisor, you can get started for free at Axial.com.  Feel free to reach out to me directly at Peter@axial.net with questions, suggestions, or show topic ideas.

Discussion points:

  • Matt’s early days – bike racing as a kid, selling college textbooks online. The Feed is a merging of Silicon Valley and sports, his dream scenario
  • The need for The Feed – seeing a knowledge gap before/during/after training – fueling strategies are always evolving and volatile
  • Reviewing the history of trends in sports nutrition
  • Founding story – From “box of the month” to single servings, to leveling up nutrition offerings
  • The Feed’s proprietary warehouse software was written by a young athlete working in the warehouse
  • Why robotics? It’s important to ship lightning fast, on par w/Amazon. Every innovation paid for itself in ROI in 30-60 days
  • The Feed’s only acquisitions will need to fit with their “human performance” model and have high brand loyalty
  • Any acquisition considerations must improve margin, and have a loyal following
  • M&A options usually come from their vendor base or from investors’ suggestions
  • The Feed’s revenue is extremely solid and predictable, with growth at 60-70% a year. While they are not actively looking for an exit, Matt does consider making employees able to cash out and change their lives
  • Get ahold of Matt if you’re interested in anything The Feed – message on LinkedIn, or email matt@thefeed.com

Resources:

Matt Johnson LinkedIn

Email Matt

The Feed Website

Peter Lehrman LinkedIn

Axial Website 

Learn More About Joining Axial

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