March 29, 2021
As part of our Entrepreneur Series, this month we had the pleasure of getting to know young entrepreneur, Sam Price, Founder of Alyve (pronounced alive), a fully personalised nutrition subscription service, tailored to your lifestyle and dietary factors. Sam sheds some light on how Alyve started and how it is evolving, as well as shares his hopes for the future of the business.
I originally worked for a company called Dotdigital as a Customer Success Manger. I really enjoyed my time there, but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do long term. I was very interested in being an entrepreneur and dipped my toe into the world of entrepreneurialism whilst I was in university – setting up a mobile cocktail bar business with my friend. We would pop up a little bar at events like birthdays, weddings, parties, and hen dos and supply the guests with cocktails for the event.
I feel like I have always had it in me. I would look at things and see how something more creative could be produced. As a kid, I used to get cardboard boxes and make them into fake vending machines. I’ve also always been very interested in making money and seeing how I can turn something into being profitable. At the age of 11, I remember going around the house and collecting things that we did not use anymore, and I would sell them on e-bay. In college my friend and I hosted a successful boat party and from this set up a small events company. I really got a thrill from setting up something and seeing how I could improve and develop it.
Alyve came about as a result of some serious jet lag, or so I thought. I got back from travelling and the jet lag feeling persisted for over two weeks. I was constantly feeling low on energy and felt something wasn’t right. I went to the doctor and long story short; the diagnosis was ADD. I got prescribed medication that didn’t really agree with me, so I took to my own devices to find out what worked for me. My frustration in trying to find a simple medical solution is what lead to the creation of Alyve. I wanted something that could tell me what I needed to take and provide it in one supplement.
It would be the fact that it is a supplement unique to you and your needs, with all your necessary nutrients in one bottle.
I went into it a bit naively. Thinking I could have the business perfect on day one. Little did I know I would have spent the next 6 months chopping, changing, adding and removing to our operations every single day until I felt it was perfect. I still don’t, but that’s being a business owner.
This is an interesting question as we set up the business during the pandemic. We’re a vitamin business so the fact that there is a pandemic at present could have helped us as everyone has become far more health conscious. However, the other aspect to consider is the financial constraints that the pandemic has caused and perhaps people that could afford a more premium kind of supplement can no longer do so. Essentially, we’ll only be able to tell the effect of COVID-19 on the business when looking at sales post-pandemic.
We know from research and our experience that the future of nutrition is going to be personalised. Why would you take a supplement that is made for everyone when you can have a supplement that is unique to you? Ideally, we’d love to see a bottle of Alyve on most peoples’ countertops or bedside tables in the near future. We’re already starting with international sales, so we hope to become an international company that’s kicking out the old, outdated multi vitamin and replacing it with one unique supplement that has all the nutrients you need.
Cliché, but my dad. He currently runs a multi-million-pound turnover company, but I remember when I was growing up, we didn’t have the best of the best. He has always worked extremely hard and put in the leg work to make something of himself which I find truly inspiring. I’ve also got him alongside me now as a partner in Alyve which is great.
Do the due diligence! Truly know your market before you invest your time and money into it. It’ll save the pain and agony when you’re halfway through and it’s too late to go back.
First thing you’re going to do post lockdown? A flight straight out of Gatwick!
What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list? Skydiving
Name 1 person, past or present you would like to have dinner with? Donald Trump – it would be amazing to see how his head works after a bottle of wine.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Los Angeles – another cliché one, I know.
“We were delighted with the services that Bluebox offered us. Bluebox’s attention to detail through their Diamond Programme ensured that we were well prepared for when the business was taken to market and that the sale process itself was managed expertly.
We challenged Bluebox with finding the right strategic buyer and thereafter negotiating a deal that met our requirements. In helping initially to identify and to secure the deal with Mountville Mills they accomplished just that. Communication throughout was excellent and professional, managing each stage of the process. I would have no hesitation in recommending Bluebox to any corporate shareholder or private business owner looking to divest their business.”
Richard Millward, Former Client
“We were delighted with the services that Bluebox offered us. Bluebox were challenged with finding us the right strategic investor and, thereafter, negotiating a deal that met our complex requirements. In identifying and securing the deal with LGC they have done exactly that. The process itself was efficient and smooth, largely due to the excellent communication from the Bluebox team, who also demonstrated excellent experience at managing a very engaging auction process. I would be delighted to recommend Bluebox to any corporate shareholder or private business owner looking to divest a business.”
Helen Dickinson, Former Client
It has been a real privilege working with the team at Bluebox over this last year or so. Bluebox’s attention to detail ensured that we were well prepared for when the business was taken to market and the sale process itself was managed expertly. Starting the process, I had no idea exactly what this would entail and the volume of work that has been produced by everyone and the result reached today is nothing short of brilliant.
Hugh Morris, Former Client
We are delighted with the services that Bluebox was able to offer. They showed an intimate knowledge of a deal cycle, managed a tight auction process and were highly communicative from the start. I would happily recommend Paul and his team to business owners contemplating a sale of their business in the next 24 months. Experience is key and this has paid off for us.
Laurence Seward, Former Client
Aligning ourselves early with Bluebox, and entrusting the team to guide us through their process proved to be a highly rewarding investment from all viewpoints. Bluebox’s support significantly enhanced both the value of our business and its ‘saleability’. I would highly recommend Bluebox to business owners contemplating an exit in the next two years. The earlier the engagement the better so far as I am concerned.
Mike Minett, Former Client
We began working with Bluebox in early 2015 through their Blue Diamond Programme, as we were contemplating an exit. We found that the process focussed our minds on the key areas of growth in the business, and prepared us well for the inevitable rigours of due diligence. During the sale process itself, the advice offered by the Bluebox team was invaluable. We found them to be helpful, straightforward and honest.
David Stokes, Former Client
When selecting our adviser, it was extremely important that they had access to international buyers and were experienced in cross-border M&A. The team at Bluebox proved to be invaluable by identifying a strategic acquirer from America who was not known to us and by negotiating an excellent deal for all parties. I was also impressed with the process management from Bluebox, which ensured that the deal was closed in a timely fashion.
Jeff Weinstein, Former Client
When I first engaged with Bluebox, I was hesitant as to the benefits of using an advisor to firstly, find a buyer for my business and secondly, to get a deal over the line. However, now that the deal has completed with KPM, I can honestly say that the finer negotiation points handled by Bluebox and their overall management of this process has been nothing short of first class. I would be delighted to recommend Bluebox’s services to any entrepreneur contemplating the sale of their business.
Bill Ballard, Former Client
Bluebox worked closely with us over the following six months and helped us to implement some key initiatives which made InferMed a more attractive acquisition target. Once we decided to sell the business, the Bluebox team were very diligent in ensuring that no stone was left unturned. They negotiated expertly on our behalf to ensure we got the best deal possible.
Alan Montgomery, Former Client
The pre-sale planning programme that we signed up for with Bluebox made us develop our strategies and focus on the bigger picture. It proved to be a very rewarding investment from all viewpoints and significantly enhanced both the value of our business and its ‘saleability’. I would highly recommend Bluebox to business owners contemplating an exit in the next two years.
Nigel Parsons, Former Client
I have experienced first hand the value that can be created through highly structured pre-sale planning. It amazes me that it is not something that everyone does. It is so disappointing to see around 90% of transactions collapse before they complete and pre-sale planning will not only enhance your price, but also significantly enhance your chance of a closed deal.
James Caan, Investor
We worked incredibly closely with our advisers who provided expert knowledge of the sale process with which we were not familiar. We were truly delighted with the results.
Marten Nielson, Former Client
We appointed advisers to manage the sales process after we had received a number of unsolicited approaches for the business. I was incredibly impressed by the immense value that could be created by expertly negotiating with a group of already interested parties.
Paul Duckworth, Former Client
I was delighted with the service that the team offered and their real attention to detail. The deal was not without its complexities and it was reassuring to have such experienced advisers assisting me throughout the negotiations.
Peter Bennett, Former Client
Truly delighted with the way my sale process was managed. The fact that the team I worked with achieved such a great multiple is testament to their experience and their ability to create some true competitive tension.
James Averdieck, Gü, Former Client
The team at Bluebox provided invaluable support in negotiating this complex transaction. Their access to international purchasers, and exceptional knowledge of cross border M&A ensured that the deal was concluded efficiently, achieving a highly successful outcome for us all.
Jon Parslow, Former Client
“We selected Bluebox after a fairly long round of evaluating potential advisors because of their scientific, yet challenging approach to maximising value. During our initial meetings they showed us how far short of “ready” we were and consequently we completed more preparation in the early stages which meant we were equipped for what was to come. We were delighted with our choice of Corporate Finance partner. I do not hesitate in recommending Bluebox for any SME to consider.”
Simon English, Former Client
Bluebox provided invaluable advice in managing the negotiations with incoming investors. Their skills in handling these discussions were evident from the outset and the vital interface that they provided between the incumbent team and the incoming investors was truly beneficial.
Henry Braham, Former Client
Bluebox have a professional, dynamic and experienced team that is greatly assisting me with my focus on my exit within the next 24 months. Their structured approach is very refreshing and their ‘Blue Diamond’ programme is adding immense value.
Matt Evans, Former Client
The team at Bluebox provided me with a seamless service from the start of the engagement until our deal was completed. Attention to detail was commendable and their understanding of corporate M&A very impressive. I could not recommend them highly enough.
Victor Lewis, Former client
Having tried to sell my business previously – and failed – I was only too aware of the importance of pre-sale planning. This is a talented team offering a service that most people find out about, but too late.
Simon Hulme, Former Client
Bluebox are a quality outfit. Their access to International acquirers and relationships with the highest quality domestic investors was impressive. My shareholders and I received excellent service from start to finish and it was refreshing to be dealing with a senior team throughout the sale exercise.
Michael Clapper, Former Client
I cannot recommend the team at Bluebox highly enough. Their expert guidance throughout the entire sale exercise resulted in my shareholders securing an excellent deal with which the entire team was delighted.
Mark Rodol, Former Client
I’m really pleased with the service Bluebox provided. The team demonstrated excellent knowledge of the process to follow and led negotiations for the hospital in a way that allowed us to ensure we received appropriate value whilst focusing on reputational risk. Communication and service were of a very high standard.
Steven Davies, Former Client
With Bluebox’s expert advice we were able to find the right buyer that will benefit our business strategically. We’re delighted with the outcome and look forward to starting our new chapter
Clive Hillier, Former Client
The advice offered by the Bluebox team throughout the process was invaluable to the shareholders. We strongly believe that participating in Bluebox’s pre-sale planning programme was a significant driver behind the success of the deal. Their project management and negotiation skills throughout the sale process itself resulted in an exceptional deal being delivered to all parties involved.
Harpal Singh, Former Client