On an investor's perspective, what is a "good" exit strategy/plan for a SaaS company that's raising for a seed round?

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JASON LEMKIN

Ok, people are going to tell you not to have a slide or discussion on an “exit strategy” and they are right.  See, e.g., Auren Hoffman‘s answer below.  It makes you look like someone not going for it, not really.  It really does.  If you have an “Exit Strategy” slide, there’s > a 95% chance I don’t even want to meet.  It’s really that bad.

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 an F.

But have a “competitive and cooperative landscape” slide that includes everyone with a valuation > $1.5 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.

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Published on November 16, 2015
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