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Numerous factors affect how angels value a company. Primary are the strength of the management team and the size of the opportunity, or a company's potential to scale. Accompanying this article is a valuation worksheet that entrepreneurs can use to better understand what investors look for and to identify factors that can justify higher pre-money valuations. Investors will find it useful to compare companies and determine whether valuation should be higher or lower.
This exceptional article offers insightful explanation and key details of how angel investors determine valuations, why entrepreneurs and investors often have different perspectives for angel returns, and what steps angels and entrepreneurs can take to quickly find common ground on this critical topic.
Investing in seed and startup companies is extremely risky: Angel investors typically realize about 85 percent of their total portfolio returns from 15 percent of their portfolio companies. Consequently, angels look only for companies that can grow rapidly. Entrepreneurs who pursue less aggressive growth are unlikely to attract angel investors.
This informative piece explains a well-known method that venture capitalists use to determine "post-money valuation," which is a company's valuation at the time of investment. Perhaps more important, it provides valuable insights into why the returns expected by investors are often perceived as "too high" by entrepreneurs.
During a round of investment in seed- (start-up) and early stage companies, angel investors typically invest from $25,000 to $100,000 each. The round usually totals between $250,000 and $1 million, and the company valuations run from $1 million to $3 million. Collectively, the angels purchase from 20 to 40 percent of a company’s equity and seek a return of 20-30x over five years.
Since the Internet bubble burst, the pre-money valuations of seed-stage companies by venture capitalists have averaged between $1 million and $3 million. Angel investors tend to participate at earlier investment stages than VCs, so pre-money valuations for angel deals nearly always fall into this admittedly wide range. What factors within this range impact the valuation of a specific company?
The accompanying Valuation Worksheet provides entrepreneurs and investors with an empirical basis for deciding if a start-up company should be valued near the top or bottom of the range. It’s not designed to be used for definitive valuation calculations.
The Valuation Worksheet lists major factors and key issues to consider in judging the value of a seed (start-up) company. Note the following features:
Entrepreneurs can use the worksheet to gain insights into what investors are looking for in a fundable seed-stage company and to identify factors that justify higher pre-money valuations. The worksheet is also a roadmap on how entrepreneurs can improve the fundability of their enterprises and increase the pre-money valuation.
Getting ready to do your first presentation to a VC or angel? A good beginning leads to a happy ending. An experienced speaker and writer provides entertaining and useful advice on why your business presentations should open with a spark instead of a spreadsheet.
This well-written article gives practical advice on how to think about acquisitions and five no-nonsense tips on how to do them productively for all concerned.
Are your startup financials accurate? Odds are they are not, perhaps significantly so, because you have not spent the necessary time and effort forecasting revenues. This article explains why revenues, not expenses, are the most important--and difficult--numbers to get right.
This article provides an excellent framework not only for how to raise money but also for how to think about raising money. Key point: Always stay nine months ahead of your need for cash.
Dominic Orr was named President and CEO of Aruba Networks in April 2006. Prior to that, Mr. Orr served as the company's Chairman of the Board. Previously, Dominic Orr was the president of Nortel Networks, Intelligent
Internet Web Systems. He previously served as the president and chief executive of Alteon WebSystems which was merged with Nortel Networks in Oct. 2000. Mr. Orr has more than 20 years of experience in the computer systems and communication
networking industry and has held senior positions at Bay Networks, Hewlett-Packard and Hughes Aircraft. Mr. Orr. is a member of the Sciences Board of Visitors at UCLA. He holds a BS in physics from City University of New York and a MS and
PhD from California Institute of Technology.
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