Princeton Equity Group is among the most experienced franchise and multi-unit investors in the United States, having sponsored investments in some of the most admired, growth-oriented brands in the consumer, healthcare, and business services industries. Our focus on franchise and multi-unit business models allows us to speak the same language as the management teams with which we partner and add significant value.
Very few of the most successful companies go it alone. That’s because the capital and experience of a partner like Princeton can help optimize the efforts of even the best management teams. Franchise and multi-unit companies are unique, which is why Princeton has been a trusted partner for many of the industry’s leading brands. We partner with companies to provide liquidity to shareholders, capital for growth or acquisitions, and expertise to help companies navigate the unique challenges of growth.
The word “Invest” comes from the Latin word investire, which means “to clothe in, cover, to surround”. We approach all investment partnerships with this idea in mind: to surround founders and managment teams with the resources needed to take the company to the next level. We also have the self-awareness to realize that existing managment teams know their business better than we do, so we’re good listeners and highly collaborative. You’ll find that we do what we say, and we love what we do. We look for the same in our partners.
Investors tend to focus on numbers, but over the years we’ve learned that a company’s culture, while not measurable on a spreadsheet, can often be the secret to success and a major competitive advantage. We look for companies that put customers and employees first and approach challenging times with a healthy dose of empathy. We work very hard to preserve (and improve upon) those special foundations. The last thing we want to do is mess up a good thing.
Investment firms like Princeton may all look and sound the same, but we are not. We encourage you to reach out to the executives and entrepreneurs at the companies in which we have invested, and ask them how we acted as their partners — that’s the true indicator of what a relationship with Princeton is like.
How We Work with Companies
We view every investment as a long-term, supportive business partnership with founders and management teams to help build companies of extraordinary value. Our focus on franchise and multi-unit businesses allows us to quickly triage the pain points of our partner companies and develop a plan with management to enhance value.
The foundation of any franchise and multi-unit business starts with the four walls of the unit. If the unit economics aren’t healthy, then the enterprise as a whole isn’t healthy. We work with companies to ensure they have the right tools in place to measure, track, and improve the most impactful and critical performance indicators.
FusionPoint TM is a robust, proprietary technology platform and database that uses algorithms to track companies, market trends, and people. We leverage FusionPoint TM to help our partner companies source acquisition targets, identify new management team members, and gain market and competitive intelligence
While we look for companies with strong management teams, these teams are often incomplete and in need of additional depth. We can help recruit both C-level executives and functional personnel to position companies to grow. We also leverage The Princeton CouncilTM and our extensive personal networks within the franchise and multi-unit sector to add highly experienced and impactful board members.
Competition for the customer is more intense than ever. One of the most important things we do is help brands improve marketing, particularly digital marketing. Building best-in-class capabilities to drive customers in the door while optimizing return on marketing contribution give our brands a distinct competitive advantage.
Determining when and where to develop locations is paramount for multi-unit companies. Brands must balance simply getting units open with an optimized long-term approach for defining and developing territories. We bring the resources necessary to ensure that these decisions are grounded in analytics and sound strategic vision.
As brands evolve, so must their process for selecting and growing their franchisee base. Whitespace/headroom can reduce, and brands need to continue to be thoughtful about with whom to open units. We help our partner companies refine their franchisee selection and development to balance growth with quality.
The relationship between a franchisor and franchisee is complex. We help improve and invest in the areas of enhanced and increased communication, fostering a culture of inclusion, more effective positioning the roll-out of new system-wide initiatives, and arming franchisees with the necessary tools to gain better insight into their business.
As multi-unit companies grow and evolve, they must maintain brand standards and often evolve and solidify those brand standards. We frequently help franchise and multi-unit companies evaluate new and existing service offerings and product lines to better serve their customers and grow. Our experience can help our partner companies build concepts that stand the test of time.
Princeton has assembled a highly experienced cadre of franchise and multi-unit executives across industries and functional areas. These hand-picked members of The Princeton CouncilTM have deep personal networks and can help in various ways, including as part-time resources at a company, board members, or simply acting as a sounding board to management. They are leaders with exceptional track records of achievement and can be excellent resources for our partner companies.
In general, we look for the following characteristics in prospective investments:
- Strong revenue growth rates
- $10M to over $100M of revenue
- Defensible, high-margin, predictable, and scalable business models
- Profitable businesses or businesses with a discernable path to profitability
Uses of Proceeds
Our capital is often used for the following:
- Liquidity to shareholders and founders; diversify net worth
- Fuel organic growth
- Fund acquisitions
- Recapitalise existing debt or equity
- Execute a buyout or spinoff
Industries of Interest
Princeton invests in franchise and multi-unit companies in a variety of industries:
- Business services
- Retail healthcare
- Financial Services
- Information Services