888-983-1617 [email protected]

Client Case Study: Axial Exchange, Rest in Peace

Axial Exchange filed articles of dissolution on July 31, 2019. Its two predecessor companies, Register Patient and Ingage Patient, were incorporated in 2009 and backed by respected venture capital investors. A merger provided new energy in 2015, but it was clear by late 2018 that Axial no longer met the profile for VC investments. Competition was tough. Staffing was thin. Cash was tight. Axial needed a new home outside the VC portfolios where it resided.


  • In 2018, Axial’s board, CEO and investors knew it was time to explore exit options seriously, but they were not necessarily in a hurry to exit. If the company could finance its own existence, they could hold the investment long enough to transition the business to a higher-value owner in a thoughtful value-maximizing way. They could entertain proposals that were not necessarily a sale of the business (for example, a new customer relationship or a joint venture). They were able to say “no” to bad deals. And they could ultimately close the business if there were no other, better options.

  • As board members, executives and investors, they were fiduciaries for other people’s money. By law and professional integrity, they had to demonstrate good judgment in how they governed the company and made decisions, regardless of the eventual outcome. Process mattered.

  • As experienced business people, they understood the amount of work required to find a buyer for a company. They were not staffed to organize and run the process themselves.

  • Because the company was small and the results of a sell-side process were uncertain, Axial had few sources of transaction support. Traditional investment banks would not take on an assignment of this size and risk.


  • Oaklyn Consulting designed an incremental sell-side process to help the company understand and act on its practical strategic alternatives, while managing to a pay-as-you-go budget.

  • Month 1: Customize a M&A process to uncover interest in either purchase of the company or other strategic business relationships:

    • Due diligence of what acquirers/partners would see in the company

    • Developed a prospect list

    • Created tailored marketing collateral

  • Months 2-3: Initial calls and follow-up

    • Started with 40 names and based on feedback and board guidance, eventually expanded the list to 150.

    • Yielded a handful of parties with serious interest.

  • Month 3: Step in when Axial’s CEO departed for a new job

    • Supported Axial’s remaining staff

    • Increased communications with the board

    • Monitored cash

    • Kept interested prospects engaged

  • Months 4-6: Respond creatively to nurture interest

    • Rearranged the customary process to get the firmest possible proposals from interested prospects, moving due diligence ahead of indications of interest

    • With the CEO having departed, fully managed the due diligence process

  • Month 7: Conclude the project

    • After in-depth discussions with several interested parties, there were no proposals to acquire the company outright, and the board reached the unavoidable decision to close the company.

    • Transitioned responsibilities to various board directors for final stakeholder communications and concluded our role

Obviously, despite best efforts, not every entrepreneurial venture yields financial success.

But every single one presents a team of people the opportunity for responsible decision-making and professional behavior. By this measure, Axial Exchange ended well, despite the unfortunate financial result.


For more than 25 years, our team has been working with business owners and investors to understand strategic options and reach the best available conclusions. Our experience with disciplined, customized processes for assessing strategic alternatives and finding business partners or acquirers includes:

  • Software companies

  • Health care companies

  • Medical devices companies

  • Insurance companies

  • Business services companies

  • Manufacturing companies

  • Media companies

  • Financial advisory firms

  • Professional services firms

  • Construction/engineering firms

  • Venture capital and private equity investments

  • Corporate subsidiaries

  • Family businesses

  • Owner-operated businesses

“Oaklyn Consulting did a great job for us on Axial,” said a board member. “The unfortunate outcome there had everything to do with the company’s situation and the market environment. The board and investors all agree on what a thorough, professional, top-notch job Oaklyn Consulting did for us. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again and in fact will look for opportunities to do so.”

Oaklyn Consulting Congratulates Finite Reimaging on Acquisition by CAMP Construction Services

Oaklyn Consulting helped AMP Construction Services acquire Finite Reimaging. Learn it all here.

Help Me Develop a Sellable Asset

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, I don’t know if it’s the economy or the time of year, but it feels like every time I turn around, there is another M&A firm calling to see if I am in the market to sell my small business. I know that this is something that I...

Consulting vs. Investment Banking: Which Approach Suits Your Business Needs?

Understand the main differences between investment banking and consulting. Get the best services for your business and unlock new opportunities.

Help Me With Selling a Business

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, I have a friend who is selling their existing business, and they want more than any buyer is willing to pay. Should they take the best terms they can get, regardless of their “valuation,” and ride off into the sunset or wait...

How to Assess Non-Profit Financial Performance: A Step-By-Step Guide

Gauge your organization’s financial health effectively. See how to assess non-profit financial performance and unlock more opportunities to accomplish your mission.

Help Me With My Seasonal Business

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, I operate a seasonal business that relies heavily on tourism and favorable weather conditions. When the weather cooperates, our company is exceptionally profitable. However, the weather hasn't been on our side for the past two...

Help With My Family Business

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, I've been running our family's small business and have been for the last 5 years. While we are an established brand who has been successful in business for over 20 years, this year is hard. Sales aren’t growing as projected....

How to Spot Warning Signs that a Deal Is in Danger

Read the article in The Middle Market.Bringing an M&A deal across the finish line can be a long and perilous road. No matter how certain a transaction might initially seem, there’s always the possibility that one party can abruptly change its plans and drop out —...

What to Do When It’s Hard to Sell Your Business (Niche or Not)

Read the article in The American Genius.There are many hurdles that can arrive when you are trying to sell your business – here are some tips to meet yours and your buyer’s needs. Having a profitable business is no guarantee that you’ll one day be able to easily sell...

3 Signs an M&A Deal Is in Trouble

Read the article in CFO.Spotting signs of trouble early is critical for CFOs to prevent a deal from derailing. Not every CFO will experience M&A firsthand during their career. But those who do typically find that their existing skillset makes them a crucial asset...