San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
By Women Startup Lab
(but evenyone welcome!)
"From Startup to a $500MM Exit"
Bill Strauss Shares the Journey
and Lessons Learned
Co-Founder & Former CEO of
As a part of our Eco-System offering, we are bringing
an industry leader, Bill Strauss on Feb 22nd, at 6pm.
Event: From Startup to $500MM Exit: Bill Strauss's Talk
Date: Feb. 22, Friday
Time: 6:00 pm, Presentation starts
$15 at the door
Who is he?
Bill Strauss, Co-Founder & Former CEO of ProFlowers.com
Bill Strauss was co-founder, CEO and President of Proflowers.com (founded in April, 1998). ProFlowers was founded to solve a specific problem: Americans wanted to buy flowers more often but did not because of their high price and short vase life. To address those issues, ProFlowers made a strategic decision to use then-emerging Internet technology not only to sell direct but to ship direct to consumers. The company’s proprietary e-commerce platform eliminated middlemen and provided customers with direct access to the world’s best growers. While other dot-coms have come and gone, ProFlowers has experienced consistent growth over the past ten years from zero to almost $500 million in annual revenue.
The company’s innovative business model allowed customers to receive a higher quality, fresher product at a lower price point, while growers received significant benefits through improved profitability. ProFlowers was named Internet Start-Up of the Year by the San Diego Software Industry Council (SDSIC) in 1999. CEO Bill Strauss won the 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. As the customer base grew, so did the company, expanding from a small start up staff to more than 400.
In 2003, the company changed its name to Provide Commerce, Inc. and went public on NASDAQ. In 2006, Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA, LCAPA) ("Liberty") purchased Provide Commerce for $477 million.
Bill has had considerable experience as an innovative leader of high-growth initiatives at other companies prior to ProFlowers, dating back to the early 1990s. During a three-year stint as VP of operations for Hanover Direct, he restructured this massive catalog company to support 300 percent increase in revenues, from $250 million to $1 billion annually. Bill served on the senior management team that rebuilt ChipSoft's infrastructure to support a growth in annual revenues from $50 million to $750 million over a five-year period. Bill has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Syracuse University.
Procopio is a full service law firm, advising and assisting companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start-up through exit and beyond. Procopio's attorneys are dedicated to understanding the businesses and industries of their clients and collaborating with them to develop tailored strategies at each stage of development. Procopio is one of the largest California law firms, and has offices right off of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, the hub of all famous VCs in SV.