When Neal Verma and a few friends started the search engine iRazoo in Houston in 2007, they had high hopes for its future, but they never could have expected that their journey would end with a high-value exit on Deal Flow.
iRazoo is a unique search engine that allows users to earn points by watching videos, taking surveys, and searching the web. These points can then be used to redeem gift cards from most of the world’s major shopping brands including Target, Amazon, and WalMart. The algorithms behind iRazoo’s search functionality are unique and feature a patented search methodology reliant on user votes to rank the search results.
After inception, iRazoo quickly gained fame, and received coverage in the Houston Chronicle and CNN, among other noteworthy news outlets. But, far removed from the Silicon Valley tech community, iRazoo failed to attract the attention of VC investors. Mr. Verma found himself at a crossroads, but rather than give up and let the company collapse, he chose to bootstrap iRazoo and continue pushing forward.
That decision paid off, and as of today, iRazoo is one of the largest “points-earning sites” on the internet. Despite being bootstrapped, the company has been profitable and it has onboarded millions of visitors throughout the years.
“We developed iRazoo originally because we believed we could create a unique search engine combined with a points incentive — and we did,” said Verma. “Even though people use Google, Yahoo, and Bing to do the vast majority of Internet searches, we’ve always believed there was room for a search engine like iRazoo.”
Mr. Verma believes the success of the company hinged on the small, but tight team who stuck together from the very beginning. Even though the odds were stacked against them, they persevered and built iRazoo into what it is today.
Of course, after years of hard work, the decision to sell was not easy. “For us, iRazoo was almost like a child. We nurtured it, helped it grow, and it was a tough choice to let the business go.” However, running one of the largest property management companies meant that Mr. Verma had less time to spend on the iRazoo business, and he and his partners decided it would be best to exit.
“After we made the decision to sell, we shopped around several website brokerages. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the level of expertise and professionalism shown by the website brokers at Deal Flow far exceeded that of the other brokerages we had researched.”
Paired with one of Deal Flow’s leading website brokers, Griffin Sinn, the sale of the business got off to a quick start with dozens of qualified inquiries. The inquiries soon turned to offers, and the interest in acquiring iRazoo was so strong that the business ultimately sold well above the asking price.
The sale marks the next phase of iRazoo, and Mr. Verma believes the investment company can provide the “funds, means, and expertise to take iRazoo to the next level. I’m very excited for what the future holds.”