The Story Behind X Machina-AI's Acquisition of Bain Public
Just succeeding at upending my profession
I chose to be a bootstrapped entrepreneur. It’s been a rugged four years and there have been a few things more rewarding than the thought of Bain Public just succeeding. What’s the secret? All the same things that I have done for the past 20 years: just succeeding! Competing hard. Coming up with new ideas and new situations to benefit the companies I work with.
It’s a constant, very consuming job. Anybody who wants to be an entrepreneur and be any good needs to know it takes a lot of time and work. I started thinking about the idea of creating a legacy business that Bain Public could exist beyond me, without me. I’m delighted to finally discuss why I invested my time making the X Machina-AI acquisition real.
How our work together began
About four years ago, I met Claude Theoret and Daniel Drouet while they were continuing with their deep involvement in the Montreal startup ecosystem as investors, mentors and entrepreneurs. We had some insightful discussions and they confided in me the challenges the local startups and ecosystem were experiencing regarding their roadmap development.
"I bet you're the only guys in town who values product management as much as I do." - Paul Ortchanian
I had known of Claude's reputation from his successful previous startup, Nexalogy, a social data analysis system (SDAS) that enables users to extract value from their existing data feeds, which was eventually acquired by Datametrex. Following his exit to Nexalogy, Claude, an astrophysicist-turned-entrepreneur, decided to launch IC Excellent Ventures, a Montreal based investment fund, and, quite by chance, he began connecting technology companies with Bain Public.
In addition to Daniel's background as a Venture Partner at the Montreal startup (now called Real Ventures), he was focused on a startup project called Soko, which centered on the idea of providing publishers with a suite of tools to create new revenue through the use of AI. Soko was a great technology and had a number of applications. Claude, Daniel and I began to ideate on ways that we could collaborate by leveraging Daniel’s software. One of the most exciting outcomes of our collaboration is that Daniel recognized the potential of both Bain Public's SOAP Framework and team.
Fast forward to 2021: Claude and Daniel, along with Patrick Brown and Scott Munro, were launching their new company X Machina-AI! X Machina-AI Inc. seeks to provide a platform for the acquisition of Artificial Intelligence ("AI") entities in North America. The company’s thesis is based on an aggregation strategy to acquire successful AI targets and make them better through the addition of growth capital, streamlining of corporate processes and human capital acquisitions. The current sector focus of the company is on enhancing supply-chain efficiencies, logistics and manufacturing.
X Machina began to seriously look at Bain Public as an acquisition; at the same time, I was seriously interested in fundraising! Fortunately for me, through my relationship with Claude and Daniel, I had the right introductions to the X Machina-AI leadership team and was able to participate in discussions to provide the companies they acquire with product management consulting, coaching and advising resources, and helping them grow to be 100%-owned subsidiaries in the future.
Bain Public wants to be a multinational operation with a strong local basis. Through SOAP, we are creating a new model. It is not a flawless methodology, but it’ll change how product management operates inside organizations. To accomplish this, our operations have to be a level above everyone else.
We got lucky; they saw our potential and did our diligence. I was blown away by the quality of the team Claude and Daniel had assembled including his fellow founders, CFO Patrick Brown (a forward-thinking financial executive) and Chief Investment Officer Scott Munro among others. The team has extensive backgrounds in AI and deep learning technology, and a founder-friendly capital approach. Our acquisition talks ended up closing in less than 3 months because of the amazing human fit!
"We loved the fit because of how useful we think SOAP and Bain Public’s expertise will be for our target companies. The acquisition was also able to proceed thanks to your excellent books and exemplary transparency." - Claude Theoret
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