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Saving a Singaporean Company from a $90M Mistake (in 3 Weeks)

About the rubric: In series of publications we tell you more about diferent cases we worked on in our practice. The aim is to show the nature of our work, how we solved complicated issues and how we manage crises protecting the interests of our clients. We respect the privacy of those who trust us which is why we will not mention brands and names in tese publications.

A Singaporean conglomerate received a purchase proposal for a small Jordanian startup valued at $90M, but found it difficult to locate enough information about the company. However, they were aware that other global competitors were showing an interest in the startup.

The company approached TERRA-SS in order to thoroughly examine the company, its founders and the interest of its competitors. In addition to the complexity of the international research needed, the timeline was extremely short – three weeks.

Because it was a new company, uncovering information through open sources and unique databases proved difficult. However, TERRA-SS’s team was able to locate its intellectual assets (patents of the company) and map the business and employment past of the entrepreneurs, including partners and former employers. After examining the depths of the patent, our team found that it was only in the filing stages and not yet approved.

Our experts then compared the patent application to existing patents of a major competitor in the field, finding that the chances of this startup’s patent application being accepted was less than 50%, and that the technology they offer is ineffective and already included in a competitor’s patent. In addition, our field agents met with former employers and former and current partners of the startup founders. During these conversations, they uncovered that the two founders were serial patent developers in various fields (i.e., they lack specific field expertise) and that their method of operation is simply patent registration followed by attempts to sell to companies in the field for millions of dollars.

As a final stage of the project, we uncovered that our client’s main competitor was in the process of formal negotiations with the Jordanian startup. In addition to determining for our client that this startup was not a viable investment, this information also helped them build an effective strategy for another project they were working on.

Ultimately, TERRA-SS’s report and research saved our client an unnecessary $90M acquisition and helped the company concentrate its efforts on more qualified startups.


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