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Forbes Feature: Self-Hired MA Lead Generation

Sophia Boiko


7 Min Read

In just one year, we launched an AI/FinTech M&A company, hired ourselves to launch lead generation for it, closed 4 deals, and ended up in Forbes. Want to know how? 

Listen up first: Full-cycle agencies skipping their own projects might earn the dubious title of “Scammy ones”. It’s the destiny of marketing agencies to play it safe. Everyone knows the unspoken code: full-cycle agencies need to dive into the action themselves. Have we sidestepped it? Keep reading for all the answers!


We didn’t create a new company just for the sake of it. We saw a chance to leverage our expertise, challenge ourselves, and build something truly unique. Beyond the immediate benefits of the M&A, we were primarily motivated by a long-term vision of diversifying our business across complementary sectors.

The Client


Right now, Mergewave Capital consists of 20 people and provides the next services:

The Audience

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Correlation of the answers to the company’s level in different GEOs*:

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Marketing tools

Percentage of communication channels’ usage:

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number 1

Played matchmaker in 4 deals this year, including:

number 2
30+ hypotheses validated, and desirable metrics achieved: replied to MQL – 24%, MQL to SQL – 35%
number 3

Formed strategic partnerships with prominent European companies

number 4

Implemented innovative approaches in lead management and conversion

Buy-side GEO:

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Sell-side GEO:

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How did we do it?


How The Right Lead Generation Saves Companies in the Unstable Market?

Let’s get into details: an investment Brokerage company is looking for leads. A goal is to find small IT companies (under 100 people) for a partial merger with an IT Consortium. How did we nail it?


We started scouting and contacting small IT companies from the east of Ukraine.


Why East? The war’s shadow loomed over Ukraine’s IT sector, but we refused to see only darkness. We saw hope and innovation struggling to break through. So we ventured east with a desire to invest in their future. What the Ukrainian IT companies needed was a rescue decision: quick, efficient, and prominent to future growth. Understanding the situation well, we identified their pain points. We wanted to give a push to Ukrainian companies instead of helping them just to sell themselves.

We’ve got a very high reply rate due to reasons:

We conducted the first 15 calls to collect feedback and understand the company’s internal dynamics, decision-making processes, and key stakeholders. It helped us refine our value proposition and communicate the problems more effectively.


Results (East Ukraine IT Merger Outreach Metrics):

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How Did We Optimize Our Lead Generation Process to Enter Specific geos?

Next, we expanded into new sell-side markets, particularly targeting Europe. Initially, we faced a setback as cultural differences hindered the understanding of our offers. However, we adapted by using local languages, personalized scripts, and tailored funnels. 


Through analysis and feedback, we pinpointed decision-makers in potential acquisitions, creating a customized system based on titles, seniority, and other factors. To enhance lead generation, we diversified channels and tackled the challenge of connecting with C-level executives on platforms like Facebook.

Example: In some cultures, decisions are made by a single authority figure, while in others, they involve group consensus. Let’s take a deeper look:

Results (European Market Expansion and Cultural Adaptation Data):



What Do You Need To Do To Scale a Lead Generation Campaign?

Our portfolio was heavy on sell-side companies, prompting a move to balance it with buy-side companies in the U.S. and Canada. We focused on understanding American job titles for effective communication and tailoring messages from CEOs to interns. Despite initial challenges, we expanded lead generation channels (Email, LinkedIn, Telegram, Facebook), successfully connecting with funds and investors. The addition of a business development track further enhanced our outreach, yielding positive results.

Results (North American Market Portfolio Balancing Analysis):

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(Not)Getting M&A Into Web 3.0

Things were going very well between Web2 and M&A. Considering that our relation to Web3 can be described as “right near the heart”, we decided to give it a shot and introduce M&A to Web3. Should we say that Web3 in the world of M&A is almost absent?


First, we started with sell-side businesses, and eventually slowly moved to the buy-side. But it was just in these cases that you understand that the market is not ready. But it will be.



Web3’s M&A scene has a major snag: there’s no “for sale” sign hanging over companies. Building a central marketplace is tricky because Web3 entrepreneurs value secrecy like gold. They’re building in a volatile space, and publicly revealing their interest in selling could tank their value.


But buyers and investors need more than just a secret handshake. They need reliable experts to judge a potential acquisition’s worth. Web3 is young, though, and the pool of such experts is still shallow.

Results (Web3 M&A Exploration and Challenges Data):

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What Have We Achieved So Far? From Zero to Forbes: The Deals That Defined Our Year

So, after tuning and perfecting the lead generation process, we managed to close 4 deals for the Polish IT Consortium Euvic Group. They were planning a series of investments in IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine, the main requirements of which were a company of 50–150 people with expertise in .NET and web development. So far, all 4 deals we closed by slowly diving deeper into various market segments.


Besides, we have created a system of hypothesis testing, and funnels for different titles, and added a base of Investors and funds we can contact when we have the according request.

Results (Figures on Deal Closures & Optimization Success):

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Having ourselves as the client is the experience that pushes the boundaries of perfectionism even further. But it is also a case where we extended our understanding of what it means to be in the client’s shoes, and how to make their experience even better.


So, next time you face a seemingly impossible challenge, remember: You too can become your client and build a Forbes entry from scratch. Or, you may get a more thorough, and meticulous approach than we ever provided by becoming our next client 😉


Lead Generation in Unstable Market

number 1
48 scheduled appointments out of 25 promised in the first three months
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In 18 months we created a pipeline with 120 buy-sides and 250 sell-sides
number 3
Reached a connection rate 47% for the EU and UK countries coupled with a reply rate of 15%-17%
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Personalized script templates that not only improved the sales procedure but also assisted client in expanding their professional network

Lead Generation Tips

M&A advisors and board members are the best points of contact for initiating M&A discussions. They are typically responsible for the M&A process, and C-level executives often direct inquiries to them.


Once we have established contact with other workers or if someone from them makes an introduction, the CEO is the most likely person to be receptive to our proposal.

Scaling Lead Generation Campaign

scaling m&a

lead generation

Forbes journey

global expansion

web 3 innovation

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