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valuations

How Do You Do a Valuation for Raising Startup Capital?

Here are a number of ways to come up with a valuation for the the purpose of raising your first round of outside financing. The thing to understand is that there isn’t any one way that everyone agrees on. In reality there are several different valuation methods. On top of that, everyone has their own unique spin on each one.

First things first, understand the meaning of the terms pre-money and post-money valuations. If your startup can justify a valuation of $5 million to investors before they invest, then that is its pre-money valuation. It’s the value the founders have been able to create on their own. If the company is seeking $5 million in startup capital and gets it, then its post-money valuation is the sum of the pre-money valuation plus the cash, or $10 million.

Let’s start off with this short video by a finance prof.

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The Great Gaping Valuations Chasm Between Entrepreneur and Investor

Revenue-based Funding.

Revenue-based Funding.

I first started working with startups back in the late 1980s and can guarantee you that the one problem that never goes away is the Grand Canyon-like chasm between the entrepreneur’s and investor’s respective valuations.  Without getting bogged down with unnecessary detail, it usually breaks down like this. Whether the first-time capital seeker is looking for $50,000, $500,000, or $5,000,000, they always seem to settle around the magic 20% mark. That is they convince themselves that their startup is worth so much that whatever the amount being sought is, it should only require the surrender of 20% of the total equity.  Fair is fair, right? Continue reading