First CEO of Odesk (The largest global freelancing platform in world) Shares the 5 Pitfalls of Company Acquisitions


Guest: Craig Slayter
Co-Founder & First CEO of Odesk (Upwork), CEO, Founder & MNA Executive

Listen to this episode (0:40:42)

Craig Slayter, Jeffrey Slayter’s father, has more than 30 years as a Silicon Valley startup entrepreneur and raised more than $50 million dollars in venture capital. He’s assessed hundreds of companies for potential acquisition, and participated in acquisitions ranging from $5 million to $100 million. Slayter discusses 5 unique deal stoppers preventing entrepreneurs from making the $100,000,000 exit.


Key Questions in Regard to the $100 Million exit:

  •    Are our investors and founders clearly aligned?
  •    Based on timely research, is our business in the right price range?
  •    Is our cap table in order?
  •    Do we have a messy set of books?
  •    Can we prove we have clear title to intellectual property, and product  specs?
  •    Are we demonstrating integrity in all our dealings with prospective buyers?
  • Can we come to a satisfactory agreement with buyers about our ongoing company culture?


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Time-Stamped Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction of special guest Craig Slayter, Jeffrey Slayter’s father.

[01:32] Deal Stopper #1: If founders and investors are not aligned, buyers will sniff it out and walk away.

[07:45] Deal Stopper #2: Do your homework to make sure your expectations for a buyout are in the correct price range.

[13:28] Deal Stopper #3: Clean up your cap table.

[19:18] Deal Stopper #4: Get messy books in order.

[23:40] Deal Stopper #5: Make sure you have clear title to intellectual property or product specs, and that you can prove it.

[28:57] Bonus Deal Stopper: Keep integrity in all your dealings with buyers.

[30:57] Bonus Deal Stopper: Being transparent helps build relationships and seal the deal.

[33:20] Bonus Deal-Stopper: Find an agreement with buyers for a cultural integration strategy that works for both parties.

[37:43] Parting wisdom from Craig Slayter.

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