The name, Second Level, comes from Howard Marks at Oaktree Capital.
“First level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it. Second level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted…First level thinkers look for simple formulas and easy answers. Second level thinkers know that success in investing is the antithesis of simple.”
We Fix Companies
We’re experienced operators and entrepreneurs who have worked for large companies (Yahoo! & Criteo), lesser known mid-sized companies and forgotten start-ups. We’ve worked in the trenches for years in sales, business development and marketing.
Fixers, Not Creators
It took us a long time and lot of bumps and bruises to realize that we’re better at fixing businesses than starting them from scratch.
We highly recommend reading the book, The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks. We were first level thinkers for most of our careers and now work hard to be second level thinkers; it’s a humbling process.
We focus on technology companies whose primary revenue source is advertising because it’s what we know and where we have an operational edge.
Our ideal customer profile:
- Technology company
- Advertising is the primary revenue source
- EBITDA negative
- Experienced layoffs
- 6-12 years old
- $25-50M in gross revenues
- U.S. fully-loaded people costs are 35% or more of total expenses
For investors who have aging companies and don’t want to continue to drip-feed them, cease operations, or engage in a more formal ABC — we could be a preferred alternative.
We specialize in redesigning and streamlining the operations of companies that have considerable revenue, yet are still losing money or barely break even.
Distressed businesses are fragile and most cannot be fixed under their current corporate structures, which is why they need to go through a credit-cleansing event in order to become viable again.
They likely find themselves in a place where they can’t raise additional equity capital, and their debt load is becoming unmanageable, but the underlying business is good and the business problems are fixable.