Dear SaaStr: From An Investor’s Perspective, What is a “Good” Exit Strategy/Plan for a SaaS Company That’s Raising a Seed Round?

Ok, people are going to tell you not to have a slide or discussion on an “exit strategy” and they are right.  

An “exit strategy” slide in a VC pitch deck makes you look like someone not going for it, not really.  It really does.  If you have an Exit Strategy slide talking about a $50m, $100m exit, there’s > a 95% chance I don’t even want to meet.

But …

You still sort of want to do this.  Just more subtly.

Because unless you have a very experienced investor in your vertical, in your space — and sometimes, yes you will — they may need help.  To see it all.

  • They’ll need help to see why this can be a Unicorn.
  • They’ll need help to see why you are really changing the world.
  • They’ll need help to see why your crappy little buggy software that barely does anything will be trusted by the Fortune 100.
  • They’ll need help seeing how you can ever get to $50m, $100m, $300m ARR.  More on this here: SaaStr | Is $300m ARR the New $100m?

and really …

They’ll need help seeing if their investment will ever be worth anything outside of an IPO.

So don’t have an “exit strategy” slide.   That’s usually a mistake.

But have a “competitive and cooperative landscape” slide that includes everyone with a valuation > $1 billion or so that could buy you, someday, maybe.   Do more than just put your 2 little competitors today on this slide.  Include the big guys and non-obvious candidates that not just could become competitors down the road … but could also acquire you for big bucks.  Especially non-obvious big guys that only make sense once you understand the space.

That will help.

A related post here:

Dear SaaStr: How Do You Build a Real Exit Strategy?

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