You will find good companies Bought not sold.
This saying has been passed down by generations of entrepreneurs as conventional wisdom, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. While the IPO is known as the pinnacle for venture-backed startups, many companies see successful exits through the M&A process rather than going public. Landing with the best buyer for you requires thoughtful planning and yes, selling.
As an entrepreneur, you probably started your company because you wanted to make a big impact. They are building something they truly believe will change the world in a positive direction. And yes, there’s a financial implication there too. People – maybe your investors, the media, your team – often focus on exit strategy in the context of financial results.
Any investor or consultant will tell you that when a company says they want to buy you, the right answer is “We’re not selling.”
In my experience, many founders are more motivated by being an influencer. My advice to such founders is to always consider acquisition as an option. It may not be obvious at first, but shopping can be your best route to massive scale.
Before becoming an early stage investor in DTC, I worked in business development and M&A for Microsoft across Europe and Israel. I was on the other side of the negotiations when Microsoft was looking for new teams and technologies to bring to the fold. The founders who get the most out of the acquisition process are those who plan from day one.
Planning for affordability is not a defeatist attitude.
Companies are 10x more likely to sell than go public.