How Much Focus Should Startup Founders Place On Getting Acquired?

How Much Focus Should Startup Founders Place On Getting Acquired?


  1. Early in my investment career, I had lunch with a Sequoia partner who explained to me some of the fundamentals of their investment strategy. One of them is that “good things happen to good companies”, and as such entrepreneurs should only worry about one thing: building great products that users/clients care about. Then, eventually, a good (to great) outcome will materialize. Jeff Clavier
  2. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are small company, companies that are interested in acquiring you are not going to magically find you (there are actual companies outside of Silicon Valley that may be interested in your IP, but do not know you exist). You will have to do some work to get acquired and to find the companies with complementary products. Getting acquired is not necessary a passive process and there are actions you can take to increase the desirability of your company as an M&A target and to advertise your company to a wider range of potential buyers. Brandon Smietana
  3. Building value is core to having a successful company as well as a successful exit: being able to walk away from an acquisition conversation because you can survive on your own gives you fantastic leverage. And you only get that leverage if you have built something that customers value and are willing to pay for. Touraj Parang
  4. We’ve now counseled dozens of companies over the past eight years on how to become more visible. In many case, 21 to be exact, they have been acquired, or have IPO’d with the aggregate amount being north of 850 million dollars. Was EXIT the key for all? Not at all. What was important was building market and brand visibility, credibility around what they have to offer, the team that was there, the core technology and the ongoing articulation of their vision internally, and their mission externally. Andy Abramson
  5. Great companies focus on building great product, pleasing customers, etc. but also take an active role in making an acquisition happen, and in maximizing returns for founders and investors alike. This active role might be overt– hiring a banker or advisor to get an auction going– or, more subtle– by building relationships or BD partnerships with potential acquirers well in advance of when you expect to exit. Nathan Beckord
  6. If you are focusing on being acquired, you are in the wrong business. Most companies don’t get acquired… so make sure you are doing something you love as even if it fails from a monetary perspective, you will still learn a ton from the process and journey. Darren Herman