As an attorney and former executive, Arye Schreiber‘s startup Merjerz, aims to make M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) more transparent by providing individuals, corporations, and experts the tools to be heard in the matter so that these corporate transactions are successful.
M&A is typically seen as the lore of closed door sessions benefiting a select few and this may lead to one of the corporations failing instead of flourishing. When only certain members are involved in a M&A then only certain perspectives, goals, and outcomes are going to be expressed and favored. As direct experience has shown Schreiber, this isn’t a recipe for success. There are many reasons for this and Schreiber believes he has the solution that will ultimately better inform corporations on their M&A strategies.
According to the Merjerz site, “it’s like online dating for corporations.”
Schreiber took some time to speak with Killerstartups to tell us about himself and what inspires him.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
Well, mergers suck (ie. they are usually bad for business). This is mergers done differently, hence Merjerz.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I started solo and now I’ve got up to four people working on development, design etc.
Who or what inspires YOU?
I run. In my professional role people like my pal Lee Linden (Tapjoy, Karma) inspire me – he’s brilliant yet modest, ambitious and very successful and yet unassuming. Another Stanford classmate and dear friend Justin Finnegan is lively, brilliant, utterly fearless, and completely unstoppable but has a heart of gold. I draw inspiration from guys like these.
How’d you fund this venture?
There hasn’t been much need for too [much] money so far, but we’re likely to a raise a little soon.
What was the biggest mistake you made with this or a past company?
My biggest mistake at the previous company was a merger. It was horrible. It was a massive distraction for management, a considerable expense, and misguided from the start. It was kind of a muppet show dressed as corporate M&A.
Do you consider yourself successful now?
Well, so far so good, but I’ll feel this is a success when I see it change the way M&A is done. In tech alone M&A currently destroys billions a year, ruins companies as well as dreams. Great companies that should have been acquired die, others are acquired for no good reason wasting resources that could have done so much more. This will be a success when M&A changes, becomes more open, meritocratic and successful.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why:
Thankfully there are none of those. For entrepreneurial life with a remote team PivotalTracker comes close. Both the WebApp and the mobile app are very, very useful, simple and intuitive. It definitely helps a free thinker get stuff done in an agile, collaborative environment.
Mobile App you’re in love with:
Waze is pretty cool. ‘in love with’ is definitely too strong.
Dogs or cats?
Kids. They’re so much more rewarding.
iOS or Android?
iOS, for now.
Anything else we should know about what makes you and your company so special?
I’m not special, but the company is highly disruptive to a high-brow market. I’ve spoken with many CorpDev executives in Tech 100 companies are they’re pretty psyched about this. Everyone knows M&A needs to be done better, and they’re happy to see someone go for it.
You can read a little in a guest editorial I recently wrote for Crowdsourcing.org here.