How To Prepare For An Exit

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Kaushal Chokshi is a global named investor, entrepreneur, and the founder of Scaale Group. Scaale as Growth Consultants for smart capital, international sales, and global M & A services to growth companies and large corporates. They believe that they can leverage their capability for developing new business models for growth and build value for exit or shareholder’s value or stakeholder’s value. Mr. Chokshi was present with us during Startup Turkey 2016 and gave a speech about how to build value to exit.

Europe does not have a startup problem, they rather have a scale-up problem. Why is there a scale-up problem then? It is simply because, in the majority of times, people do not think about exit. If entrepreneurs thought about exit since the first day, then they would scale-up even beyond their borders. Turkey particularly has been in a very unique situation; where the market is big enough to stay contended in the Turkish market but is not big enough to exit with it and join the global market.  

There are mainly three types of exits. The first one is the IPO exit. The average IPO takes up to 9 years to be done, the exit also takes a considerable amount of time, which is around 7 to 8 years on average. That is why you need to start thinking of the way you are going to use to make your exit later on. The second type of exit is getting acquired by other institutions or corporates. The last type of exit is a partial exist that could be done through strategic investment.

The key thing is that ‘Investors invest in exits’. That is where they get the return, making the exit issue a matter to discuss with your investor, or entrepreneur from day one. The exit should, of course, be prepared beforehand. In order to do that, you need to, first of all, prepare your exit from day one. It is primordial to not skip this step since it is very important when the time of your exit comes. It is crucial to plan your exit from day one since it will allow you to select the perfect investors for your project, as well as select your market, and strategic acquirers.

Now, as we said, preparing from your exit since day one is very crucial, but it does not mean that you need to focus on it every day and make it more important than creating the company in itself. You need to start and establish a real business, a business that would, later on, allow you to execute that exit plan that you have been preparing for since the beginning; you have to build revenues, and overall; build good companies.

Another important thing is to create benchmarks for each fundraser. You need to know what kind of resources you need in each fundraiser, and calculate your dilution at each benchmark. During each fundraiser, you are going to need to think about the resources and people that you are going to need for your next benchmark. Mr. Chokshi gave an important tip when it comes to being an entrepreneur, he stated that if you do not have the skill to scale, then you need to exit early.

Also, you need to consider all the stakeholders’ interests in your plan. Of course, not only the company or the founder should profit, but the people who represent the stakeholders of that company should probably get their parts of profit as well.

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