"Strategic Moves: How Buffer Bought Out Investors and Literati Raises $40M for Its Book Club Platform"


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Aug 03, 2023

4 min read


"Strategic Moves: How Buffer Bought Out Investors and Literati Raises $40M for Its Book Club Platform"


In the world of business, strategic decisions often pave the way for long-term success and sustainability. This article delves into two distinct journeys that highlight the importance of making calculated moves. We explore Buffer's decision to buy out their main VC investors, and Literati's recent success in raising $40M for its book club platform. Both stories offer unique insights into the mindset and actions required to navigate the complex landscape of entrepreneurship.

Buffer's Path Towards Independence:

Buffer, a social media management platform, embarked on an unconventional journey when it chose to buy out its main Series A investors. This decision was driven by their desire to maintain control over the company and explore alternative avenues for providing returns to shareholders.

In the initial stages, Buffer sought out a unique investor who shared their vision and conditions. Collaborative Fund emerged as the perfect fit, leading the Series A funding by contributing 60% of the funds. Buffer's transparency about their intention to question conventional practices played a crucial role in attracting Collaborative Fund.

To safeguard the interests of their Series A investors, Buffer included a downside protection clause. This clause entitled investors to claim a return of 9% annual interest on their investment after five years. Little did Buffer realize at the time that this clause would play a pivotal role in their subsequent decision-making process.

Challenges and Transformative Decisions:

Buffer faced significant challenges along their journey towards self-sustainability. In a difficult but necessary move, the company opted for layoffs and focused on profitability without seeking external funding. This decision, however, led to the departure of co-founder Leo and CTO Sunil, highlighting the sacrifices and difficult choices entrepreneurs often face in pursuit of their vision.

Buffer's commitment to steady and measured growth became evident in their preference for team cohesion and productivity. They prioritized allowing team members to bond and develop expertise within the company, rather than continuously bringing in new hires. This approach fostered a culture of long-term commitment and stability.

The Decision to Buy Out Main VC Investors:

By late 2017, Buffer realized that the traditional venture capital funding model was no longer aligned with their vision and goals. They had successfully increased their financial sustainability and nurtured a culture that prevented burnout among team members. These achievements paved the way for a strategic shift towards long-term sustainability.

Buffer recognized that a stock buyback for their Series A investors would not only unlock opportunities to provide returns to other shareholders but also solidify their path towards self-sufficiency. The company diligently built up cash reserves to make this endeavor possible and sought the necessary approvals from shareholders.

The Stock Buyback Process:

To carry out the stock buyback, Buffer required the approval of 60% of Series A shareholders and 50% of Preferred shareholders, which included both Series A and Seed investors. Their two main venture capital investors constituted 60% of the Series A shares. In addition, five other investors chose to sell their shares, resulting in the company buying back a total of 67.29% of Series A shares.

Literati's Book Club Platform and Fundraising Success:

Literati, a platform that curates book clubs for readers, recently made headlines by raising an impressive $40M in funding. The company's unique approach centers around the belief that books are aspirational and that individuals seek recommendations from those they perceive as intellectually superior.

This perspective resonated with many readers, contributing to Literati's rapid growth. The funding they secured will further propel their mission of connecting readers with curated book selections and creating a community of literary enthusiasts.


The journeys of Buffer and Literati exemplify the importance of strategic decision-making in the entrepreneurial landscape. Buffer's bold move to buy out investors showcases their commitment to long-term sustainability and control over their company's destiny. Similarly, Literati's success in securing significant funding underscores the power of catering to aspirational desires and creating a strong community around a shared passion for literature.

Three Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace transparency and communicate your unique vision to attract investors who align with your goals.
  • 2. Prioritize long-term sustainability over short-term gains, even if it means making difficult decisions.
  • 3. Continuously evaluate the alignment between your business model and your vision, and be prepared to pivot if necessary.

In a world where strategic moves can dictate the trajectory of a company, Buffer and Literati serve as beacons of inspiration for entrepreneurs aspiring to navigate the challenges of the business world with resilience and innovation.

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