Acquisition Advice: Dominic Wells’ Strategic Approach to Online M&A

Welcome to Humans of Flippa, where we delve deep into the stories and strategies of influential players in the online business M&A space. This week we’re joined by Dominic Wells, the founder and CEO of Onfolio, a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ since 2022, specializing in acquiring profitable online businesses and assuming their management. The diverse portfolio of Onfolio spans Ecommerce, software, B2B agencies, online courses, and a small marketplace.

With a remarkable knack for navigating the digital landscape, Dominic is known for his strategic prowess in acquiring and managing online businesses. In this enlightening discussion, he shares invaluable insights into the methodologies and philosophies that underpin his success. Dominic emphasizes their commitment to long-term ownership, aiming to continuously grow and scale acquired businesses by reinvesting profits into further acquisitions. 

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Evaluating Online Businesses for Acquisition

When evaluating potential acquisitions, Dominic emphasizes the importance of scrutinizing the digital marketing landscape. Regardless of the specific business model, the core value drivers revolve around generating demand through digital marketing and delivering products or services. While Onfolio initially focused on content sites, their approach evolved to encompass a broader spectrum of online businesses. They assess each business’s ability to operate autonomously and thrive without the founder’s direct involvement.

Navigating Risks and Opportunities

Dominic discusses the dynamic nature of risk assessment in the online business realm. Whether it’s evaluating the stability of revenue streams or anticipating disruptive factors like algorithm updates or geopolitical shifts, Onfolio adopts a proactive approach. Diversification serves as both a risk mitigation strategy and an avenue for capitalizing on emerging opportunities. By maintaining a diversified portfolio, Onfolio aims to mitigate concentration risk while remaining agile and adaptable in the face of evolving market dynamics.

Adaptability in a Changing Landscape

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and macroeconomic uncertainties, adaptability is paramount. Dominic underscores the importance of businesses being agile and self-disruptive, especially in the face of emerging technologies like AI. Rather than predicting the future with certainty, Onfolio focuses on building resilience and flexibility into their portfolio companies. By embracing change and continuously learning, they position themselves to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape effectively.

Learning from Mistakes and Embracing Growth

Reflecting on specific examples, Dominic recounted early experiences, including acquiring a content site heavily reliant on Pinterest traffic, which faced a setback when banned by the platform. He emphasized the importance of adapting due diligence processes to identify dependencies on founders, ensuring effective transitions post-acquisition.

The conversation turned to the importance of founder retention and the structuring of deals to mitigate risks, such as implementing earn-outs tied to revenue or earnings. Dominic stressed the need for a tailored approach to optimization and scaling post-acquisition, advocating for a methodical, one-step-at-a-time strategy to stabilize the business before implementing major changes.

Identifying Opportunities in Undervalued Sectors

We explored Dom’s views on undervalued sectors in the online business landscape, with a focus on agencies, Ecommerce, and online courses. Dominic highlighted the potential of agencies and overlooked opportunities in Ecommerce, despite recent challenges. He cautioned against overvaluing SaaS businesses and emphasized the importance of nuanced valuation methodologies.

Looking Ahead: Growth and Expansion

For Dominic, his future plans include optimizing the existing portfolio, raising capital for acquisitions, and exploring opportunities in software and Ecommerce. He underscored the importance of continuous learning, honing skills, and compounding successes over time.

Final Thoughts

As Dominic Wells eloquently articulates, success in the online business M&A space hinges on a combination of strategic foresight, adaptability, and a commitment to long-term value creation. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Dominic Wells and Onfolio, you can visit their website at Onfolio.com or subscribe to Dom’s newsletter at Onfolio.com/newsletter. Additionally, you can connect with Dominic on LinkedIn and Twitter for further insights and updates.

Thank you for joining us on this enlightening journey through the world of online business acquisitions. 



FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR BUSINESS IS WORTH

Flippa’s intelligent valuations engine is the industry’s most accurate tool, taking into consideration thousands of sales and live buyer demand. Find out what your business is worth with our free valuation tool and plan your next move.


Tory Gregory manages Flippa's Content and Events, working with experts in their fields to share their insights, experience and knowledge with Flippa's community.

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