Who will benefit from this course?

  • Venture investors

    Valuation is the key determinant of return for venture investors. Make sure you are valuing your deals with full information.

  • Traditional investors

    Start-ups are valued very differently from traditional investments. Learn to avoid the mistakes many new investors make when investing in start-ups.

  • Entrepreneurs

    Lack of knowledge of valuation methods can result in failed fundraising or in bad deals for start-ups Learn to value your company like investors will do.

What will I learn in this course?

Valuing any company is difficult, and valuing startup companies is even more difficult, so it is not surprising that entrepreneurs and investors struggle with valuation. In this course we will look at valuation methods for traditional companies to see what is causing the confusion and then learn about the three methods of valuing start-up companies that actually make sense, how these methods work with start-ups and why they work. We will learn about why valuation is the key to venture investor returns, how to avoid the most common valuation mistakes from both the investor and the start-up side and how to arrive at a reasonable and defensible valuation for any start-up company.

What will I get from this course?

In-depth video lectures and detailed articles about every aspect of valuing start-up companies.

  • 47 videos - 10 hours of viewing

  • 32 original articles for reading

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • A message from the instructor

    • About the instructor

    • Connecting to my network

    • READ FIRST: How to complete the course

    • About Expara

    • Reading list for investors

  • 2

    Understanding risk and return

    • What is the relationship between risk and return?

    • Risk and return

    • Why fear risk?

    • Risk and return - Small versus scalable business

    • Overcoming the fear of failure

    • Reading: Risk and return

    • Reading - Two types of entrepreneurs

    • Reading - Fear and failure

  • 3

    Welcome to venture capital world

    • Welcome to venture capital world

  • 4

    Why do investors invest in VC?

    • Highest returning asset class

    • VC is the highest returning asset class

    • VC improves portfolio diversification

    • Reading - Why do investors invest in VC funds?

    • Reading - Top VC fund managers can consistently outperform

  • 5

    Why VC now?

    • Why VC now

    • Why venture capital now

    • Reading - Is moores law over?

    • Reading - Amaras law

  • 6

    Why do startups raise investment?

    • why should startups raise investment

    • Why do startups raise money?

    • Reading - Why do start-ups raise money?

  • 7

    How do startups fund growth?

    • How to fund growth

    • How to fund growth?

    • Fund growth with convertible debt and equity

    • Reading - What is the best form of funding for a start up

    • Reading - Only a moron starts a business with a loan

    • Reading - What is the difference between debt and equity?

  • 8

    How do VCs make money?

    • How do VCs generate returns?

    • What kind of company does VC invest in

  • 9

    Evaluating investments - which companies generate high returns?

    • What kind of companies generate high returns?

    • Which one is more scalable- product or service?

    • Reading - What do VCs invest in?

    • Reading - Which scales better?

    • Reading - Good business vs good investment

    • Reading - What is the optimal time to enter a market?

  • 10

    How do VCs evaluate start-ups?

    • The investor’s decision tree

    • The investor’s decision tree

    • Key elements for success

    • Key elements for success

    • Reading - Three most important factors

    • Reading - Product market fit or team

    • Reading - Key elements of success

  • 11

    Sizing the market

    • Sizing the market

    • Top-down and bottom-up market sizing

    • CLV vs CAC

    • Top-down market sizing example - Sesame milk

    • Top-down market sizing example - Plant-based meat

    • Bottom up market sizing

    • Reading - Sizing the market for a start-up

    • Reading - What are unit economics?

  • 12

    Evaluating the financial plan

    • In the financial section of the business plan

    • Why do we need a financial plan?

    • Financial projections - financial section of the business plan (2)

    • Valuation - financial section of the business plan (3)

  • 13

    Financial models and projections

    • Pro-forma Financial Model

    • Create financial projections

    • Why forecast 5 years?

    • Starting with revenue forecast

    • Bottom up market sizing

    • Introduction to Revenue forecast in Excel

    • Why is the top-down forecast different from bottom-up forecast?

    • Mistakes startup CEOs make

    • Reading - Why will financial forecasts always be wrong?

    • Financial model explained 1

    • Financial model explained 2

    • Financial model explained 3

    • Balance sheet

    • Income statement 1

    • Income statements 2

    • Cash flow budget

    • DCF valuation model

    • Financials and DCF Valuation

    • Weighted average cost of capital

    • Valuation in financial modelling

    • Dilution schedule and investor ROI

    • Reading - Why are there so many unprofitable startups?

    • Reading - How is a model different from reality

  • 14

    Valuation

    • Why do most valuation methods fail for start-ups?

    • Why do most valuation methods fail for start-ups?

    • Reading - Why do traditional valuation methods fail?

    • Company valuation methods

    • Comparables

    • Methods of valuation - comparables

    • Discounted cash flow valuation

    • Methods of valuation - discounted cash flow

    • VC method

    • Methods of valuation - VC method

    • VC method valuation explained

    • Where do the numbers in VC method valuation come from?

    • Reading - What drives VC fund returns

    • Key valuation issues

    • Reading - Epidemic of overvaluation

    • Reading - Why don't startups pay dividends?

    • Reading - What is cost of capital and why is it important?

  • 15

    Exit strategy and ROI

    • Exit strategy and ROI

    • Exit strategy and ROI

    • ROI and dilution

    • Calculate investor's ROI including dilution

    • Reading - How do VCs make money

  • 16

    Case study: Financial modeling and valuation - full course only

    • Case study - Financial modeling and valuation

  • 17

    Submission: Customized valuation review and evaluation- full course only

    • Custom valuation submission

  • 18

    Venture funding downloads- full course only

    • Venture funding downloads

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